One of my beliefs is that our educational system needs drastic reform. I'm not talking about a new school levy or hiring more teachers (ok we do need to hire more teachers), or new testing standards. It needs drastic reform. We need to do things in a completely different way than we're doing things now. Our politicians on both sides of the aisle keep floating ideas around but they are by and large both useless and horrible. I'll start by deconstructing these horrible ideas then I'll substitute those bad ideas with my excellent ones.
One such idea is to make kids wear school uniforms. In my senior year, my school district implemented a stricter dress code. They said that fights would stop, kids would do their homework, respect their teachers, respect their peers, test scores would rise and happy times would be here again. Much to the surprise of everyone, or rather the people who bought into school's propaganda and nobody else, it didn't accomplish a damn thing. There were still fights, bad students still terrorized teachers and their peers and we still sucked out loud on the stare report card. On top of that, we created a brand new issue where none existed. We had teachers sending students to the principal because they had a shirt with a stripe on it, jeans, or horror of all horrors, a shirt that was untucked. They got suspended for three to five days.
Here I thought we were trying to keep students in school. Whereas any rational person would see that the idea that making students dress nice would make them act appropriately and be smarter was a load of crap, our leaders have decided to expand the dress code. Thank Galen I don't got to that school district anymore. Obviously, they haven't realized that even if you make bad students look good on the outside, they'll still be bad students.
The rationales for this bullshit are that kids would stop wearing gang colors and bullies would stop making fun of the poor kids who couldn't afford to buy all the latest fashions. I take issue with that idea that I or anyone else for that matter should have had to change how they dress on account of some bullies and gangsters. It's sad that some poor kids would get bullied but making everyone look alike wouldn't change a damn thing. They'll still be bullied because admins would rather change the dress code instead of kicking the bullies out.
The next idea is to get rid of summer and winter vacations or at the very least load the kids down with so much busywork that they would barely have time for any vacations. The justification being that all the schools in China and Europe don't have these vacations so if we want to compete with them we have to discard summer vacation. I find it funny how these are the same people who tell students not to partake in bad actions just because everyone else is doing it and it looks cool. Hypocrisy much?
Well let's talk about why this wouldn't work. For starters, the schools do not have the money for heating and air conditioning schools year round. They can do this in Europe and China because people are willing to pay a few extra bucks in taxes. Here.... Not so much. If we were to try this, there is little doubt in my mind that someone would have a heat stroke or something and cause a bunch of people to try and lynch the school board. Secondly, without a drastic change in the way schools are run, it would just be 80-100 more days of the same garbage. Then there's the economic impact of such a move. There are a lot of industries that pretty much run on summer vacation. Water and amusement parks, swim wear, camping equipment, barbecues, the list goes on. If these government people had their way, most, if not all of these industries would go out of business and put a bunch of people out of work. In this economy that's the last thing we should be doing.
Then there are the right wingers. They maintain that bringing the Bible in the classroom, putting a bunch of ten commandments monuments on the walls and teaching religion (specifically theirs) will accomplish something. First off, which brand of Christianity would we teach? There are like 100 or so. I'm sure a bunch of parents would be up in arms if someone taught a doctrine they didn't agree with. Not to mention the scores of non Christian religions there are. Hence why we don't teach religion in schools. It's cheaper to let parents teach their own religion to their kids. None of these "bring Christianity into the classroom" advocates have explained how this would fix ANYTHING. Probably because it wouldn't. Just like all these other shitty ideas.