Fixing Our Schools

Rob Huddleston has some thoughts on Gov. Bredesen’s plan to grant college scholarships to any Tennessee student that scores a 19 or better on the ACT. Huddleston ain’t impressed.

But neither am I. Oh, I’m sure this plan polls well – who doesn’t want students to go to college? But anyone who knows much about education knows that schools across the nation are in serious decline. Fixing this problem should be the primary concern – but this won’t be easy. Under Bredesen’s plan, not much gets done – but it looks like it does.

So what is the answer to failing schools? We can blame teachers, administrators, politicians, whoever, and they all do share some blame. But ultimately, it goes back to parents. Many parents simply aren’t that interested in how their children do. Or junior brings home a grade card with A’s and B’s and mom and dad are thrilled. He made the honor roll; he must be learning!

Sadly, this isn’t always the case. An A may only be worth what a C was a few decades ago. Parents don’t realize this because they aren’t that interested. Don’t misunderstand; many parents are very concerned. But when I was in school, there were many people who were otherwise great parents but who simply did not see the value in education. And if they don’t, how can we expect our children to?

This is the heart of the problem for education in Tennessee and across America. Sadly, there isn’t much the government can do to force parents to ensure their kids get educated. But we’re all likely to pay the consequences of an uneducated populace, with the rise of India and China.

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