Thursday, May 14, 2009

The state of American education.

Hello Good People;

I recently saw a TV interview with a College Basketball Player, a Senior, about to graduate, and hopeful of a career in the Pro Leagues.
That struck me about this interview was just how semi-literate the player was. Here he was, on the cusp of Graduation, and totally unable to speak intelligible English. Every sentence was punctuated with "you knows" and "that Dude" and "got game".
Now I'm sure there are apologists out there, who are quick to start talking about the kid's undoubtedly horrible childhood, a child of the streets, not enough to eat and on and on and on,
but the burr under that saddle is that kid was playing for one of the Most respected Universities in this country, and the question is apparent, how the heck did this kid even get through High School, let alone College? This University as well as most others in the U.S., have huge amounts of money coming in from Alumni, various foundations, The Government, Etc, etc, and yet they (The Universities) raise Tuition costs, each and every year. If a CPA were to go over the Books of one of these schools, trying to balance their credits and debits, I think He or She would be immediately struck by how much the School spends on their Athletic Programs.Now there are always the apologists who are quick off the mark to scream (literally) that sports are self supporting due to ticket sales, sponsorships & etc. To them all I can say is "Horsefeathers. For what most Universities, large and small spend annually on Athletic programs, a whole bunch of deserving students could be given Scholarships, thus enriching their lives and that of the Country as a whole, and also once again make Education the most important item in our schools. I say away with benevolent promotions, if a kid is just too damned dumb to learn, or refuses to, then send them to a Trade School, this would help them, increase the labor force in this Great country, probably reduce unemployment, pare down welfare, and so on ad infinitum . The United States is fast falling behind most other civilized Countries in College Graduates, High School Graduates, Literacy, and just the overall dumbing-down of the population. It is a damned disgrace, After all, do we really need Tennis Teams, Golf Teams,volleyball teams, LaCrosse and so on and on, the list is depressingly long.
I have a 47 year old daughter who went back to College to finish her degree. She had to work 18 to 20 hours a day, studying, writing and all the other things one has to do to get an Education, I mean a real Education, Not just a piece of paper, that in reality just means that one was at such and such an Institution of Higher (snort) Learning for four or more years, but an Education that will enable one to go out and find a job, and once found, excel in that Job,and further him or herself, to their own betterment and that of our Society.
If it is so damned important for Colleges and Universities to have a School Team to attract donations from wealthy Alumni,Why not cut the Hypocricy and just go out and hire a team. That way they could cull the student body to serious students, and probably save a lot of money in the process. In the beginning, schools had athletic teams purely to turn out healthy, well rounded students. Athletics were not meant to be an Industry in Education.
I guess It's because I'm older, and daily realize just how much more Education I would have really loved to have the opportunity to gain, that it just makes me sick to see schools wasting their students time with Athletics, and penalizing non Athletic-Scholarship students with horrendously high tuition costs. And to illustrate the point, just pick out a major College and do a little research at what schools pay their Coaches, per year, and you will find an amount that would take the average working Joe or Jane to earn in 20 years of employment, and a lot of those Joes and Janes are the Professors and Instructors that are teaching our children in these selfsame schools.!

Think About It.

Stay Well
The Old Professor

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