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Education and Morality

The Need for Education Reform

Education: Where would society be if there wasn't a system of education in place to provide the nurturing of the mind as well as the body so that any individual will be able to have the availability to gain the knowledge and the background necessary to succeed in life? A Democratic society's existence is solely dependent on the education of all the population. Our Democratic Republic can only succeed and thrive when there is a certain degree of excellence within in the educational systems that are in place. For, without an educated society, civilizations will revert back to the cave of the Neanderthal. The book The Lord Of The Flies is a great description of what happens when there is one definitive order or no laws of civility embedded in the minds of youth; a prime example of what happens when the education of a society no longer is justified as being essential but is directed toward a self-preserving role of rule.

When a child is born, it is the parents or now, in most cases, a parent, who has a major responsibility in nurturing their newborn towards creating a lifelong thirst for knowledge. Young minds and especially infant ones are like sponges; they absorb everything. The best way to start to create that lifelong pursuit begins the sooner the parent gets involved. There are many factors that have placed major obstacles in infants and preschool-aged children's way to acquire the attitude, ability, and attributes in creating that lifelong desire for education. Least we not forget the purpose of education is not to make scholars, although some will become scholars anyway, but to provide students with a moral virtue—an openness. That openness is the ability to comprehend, interpret, and practice that moral virtue

The United States educational system has failed the youth of this country. A retardation in concepts, morals, and ideals, all consistent with the political views being established by ruling parties has penetrated our whole society. Through supreme court decisions, the relaxing of standards in school systems, and the general Dr. Spock attitude that prevailed from the late 1960s to today, have undermined the educational process from what we were at the beginning of the 1960s, to our failure to even attain to be in the top ten percent educational systems of all the industrial countries today. Compounded with what little employment opportunities there are, they have become more involved with new technologies that require more education.

The major question now is: How to prepare our youth for the jobs of the 21st century? In order to answer that question, we have to start at what worked from the end of World War II to 1970. From that period, the United States was a pillar for educational standards. Our high schools were creating students that excelled to the top of the world in math and science. Today, our students are not even in the top 15 percent. What has happened?

The changes in education over the past 40 years are in direct correlation to current political views. As those who are governing, the views expressed predicate the changes that are undertaken in education. Always important is the political regime, which needs citizens who are in accord with its fundamental principle. Democratic education, as in the United States, whether it admits it or not, wants and needs to produce individuals who have the knowledge, tastes, and character supportive of a democratic regime. When our country was founded, four core principles were used; Liberty, Justice, Morality, and Education. Outlined in our Declaration Of Independence, which conveyed "this nation was conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." 

Independence that is conveyed in the Declaration appeals to each person's reason as the goal of education, which produces the democratic man. This was entirely a different approach in establishing our educational goals back when our country was founded. A transformation from the education of democratic man to the education of the democratic personality has evolved in the span of just the last half century. What has transpired is a so subtle but very effective political posturing to create now an educational environment that no longer tolerates, recognizes, and accepts man's natural rights. Men who found a fundamental basis of unity and sameness. Whether we accept this transformation or not, the degree of this shift in education is too profound to ignore any longer. To secure our nation's future while preserving our heritage, a national educational reform initiative must begin.

The disintegration of the family unit has had one of the most dramatic effects on the demise of education throughout this country. The majority of youth today are being raised by a single parent. Studies have now proven that when children are raised by a single parent compared to children raised by both mother and father, the majority of youth who are raised by both parents performed better in school. One of the biggest factors attributed to the increase in single parent homes is how the decline of morals have led to the resurgence of teen pregnancies. The other major factor today are the financial and current economic conditions that have all caused so much stress in the lives of so many parents. Today, this mounting stress is very much a factor in the fragmentation of families all across America, all of which often leads to a continuing increase of single parents that now have to raise a child or, in a lot of cases, children.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, the United States was economically sound, with a stable and growing middle class. We were at the height of the greatest economic expansion in our history following World War II. There was more disposable income for families to use. The tax base was sufficient to provide all the services that promoted well rounded educational systems. The youth of that generation were provided with every available opportunity to participate in all manner of extracurricular activities, whether it was athletics, arts, or music. Not only that, the education they received actually prepared the students with the ability to succeed in whatever employment opportunities they got. It was a time of shared goals and a genuine vision for the public's future. There was much attention to the historical origins of our country and toward tolerance of all others, where today they are thought as being essentially flawed, regressive, and even obsolete. The morality of the times in the 50s and 60s—most of the youth from elementary through high school had basically the same morality as their parents. When compared with what was deemed appropriate behavior, dress and speech to today says a lot about the basic decline of proper etiquette, manners, and our youth's ability to comprehend values that were instilled in the education of our youth. Not to say the majority of youth of that generation behaved like angels, but most were generally better prepared for life outside of school than today.

When governmental policies arise out of political expedience and dictate the direction of education, as what has been occurring for the past 40 or so years, it not only undermined our basic core principles, but completely pointed our country's education in an entirely different and potentially very devastating direction, not only to our youth but to the future of a country. This foundation that had been the bedrock of our country is now ripe with a deterioration almost so complete that this nation has to now fortify this base or face a very uncertain future. What is needed now is complete educational reform. Charter schools, home schools, private and public school systems must align themselves with the sole purpose of preparing the youth of today and the youth of the future for success in life; to be a contributor to society, the economy, to their country, and to the world. Education reform with that purpose will ensure the future of not only for generations to come but for the continuing growth and prosperity of the United States.

The fist step in a reform of this magnitude is to recognize the facts that have placed the United States in serious jeopardy. Since 1993, the United States has lost over 35 million middle class jobs. These are the tax base-producing level of incomes that every city and town needs to support school systems all across the country. When this magnitude of lost wages is no longer, no amount of budget cuts are ever going to make up the difference in securing the needed funding to support school systems. The only way to recoup that amount of lost revenue is by reforming those policies that caused the astronomical amount of wage producing jobs to disappear. It is imperative that National economic reform be presented to Congress and be passed. With passage of this bill, a unity of purpose will transport this country toward rejuvenating those business that were coerced by governmental policies into shedding American jobs. Where corporations were free to profit more from this exodus of American jobs. Within national economic reform will be the establishment of universal healthcare. When the Affordable Health Care Bill of 2010 was passed, it only pushed business further away from achieving any economic gain. When this country [the last industrialized nation] implements a program similar to the European healthcare system, the business climate in the United States will finally be able to regain more financial mobility; a positive economic domino effect that will benefit every American.

To secure more economic expansion and create more revenue in establishing sufficient tax bases all across the country, a renewed energy policy included with passage of national economic reform will ensure that the United States will no longer spend billions of debt-ridden dollars on fossil fuel. The price of fuel with renewable green energy sources is now affordable, but with the Trump Administration, the American public must push Congress to pass legislation in leading the way for the onset of new green renewable energy to take its place as the lead energy sources for now and the future. Only in this way will we be able to ensure more positive economic growth.

With so much emphasis now paid on the importance of performance-based exams in schools, today has only categorized schools and students alike. This results in stigmas that render both schools and students almost incapable of excelling not only academically, but socially, as well. Emphasis must be placed on each individual's ability to absorb what is being taught. When educators as well as our legislatures realize that each child and student is unique and yet very much alike; each one learns at a different pace, and each one is capable of achieving and excelling in society, curriculums will be revamped. With course structure that is targeted toward students' learning capabilities, this will enable everyone to have the opportunity to succeed in school and in society. Curriculums now have to align themselves with the advances in technology, and yet include the rich heritage of the past. This, without interpretation, but reviewing history as it actually happened, mankind will have a much better chance in not repeating it. This is why grasping the knowledge of history is so important for preserving our future.

With so many students today vying to advance their existing education by applying to universities of higher education, so many are thwarted because of monetary constraints. No longer are these students capable of gaining the employment opportunities if they haven't attained a proficient degree of excellence or accreditation in the fields of learning appropriate to the employment opportunities that are available. There are two things that have to occur before this situation is resolved and our society will begin to see positive results. One is that funding for higher education as well as secondary and elementary education has to be more readily available. When students apply for a Pell Grant, for example, the criteria for receiving that grant—the parent or student should not be penalized or their financial security jeopardized when incomes and savings are under a predetermined cap. Granted there has to be justification, such as a cap on what will qualify for receiving any financial grants. But the purpose of grants is so that students who apply will receive them based on previous academic worthiness and family or individual income without jeopardizing the pre-existing financial security they may have. Another way is for universities to make college tuition free using the approach of Senator Bernie Sanders. Both would encourage more students to apply for higher education. 

What is happening in the United States today is that there are so few employment opportunities available for all those with certain education to put that education to use in the fields they were trained in. There have to be employable opportunities readily available for those who are now trained in a particular field. Today, we have so many graduate degree individuals who are trapped into employment that is so foreign to what their education trained them for in the first place. This under-employment is so detrimental not only to themselves but for our country's future. This second part to securing our future has to begin with governmental policies as well as businesses, themselves. Reforming trade policies while encouraging businesses with tax incentives to retain and hire more employees, instead of shifting employment opportunities overseas just to increase profits. This will create more economic expansion and more educational offerings here in the United States.

With so much decline in morality in our society today, only to be expounded by the way the media stereotypes and actually glamorizes certain types of behavior today, especially the way they cover teen pregnancies all across the country, it only exasperates the decline of education in America today. The United States is by far the leader of all industrialized nations with the occurrence of teens who become pregnant. Where one in six teenaged girls becomes pregnant only accelerates a deterioration in morals of our society as a whole. When our founding fathers envisioned what the future would hold for the new nation, little did they realize that the advances in technology would create an entire reversal of moral values that sustained this nation's educational standards. Whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, morality is the one factor that guides education of any society. When moral values are no longer reinforced, whether by parents, teachers, public officials, and especially the media, there is a corresponding decline in the education of societies. It is imperative that, to secure this reformation in education within the United States, there has to be a definitive effort on the part of public officials, educators, the media, parents, and students to recognize the validity and importance of moral values in the role that they play in the quality of education at all levels.

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