Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shocking Stats about Education

The Accredited Online Colleges blog features a list of "Ten Shocking Stats on the State of Education." The list addresses issues on everything from literal and functional literacy to arts education to bullying to sex ed. Certainly, these sort of snapshots are interesting conversation starters, and the links are worth taking a look at.

The connection between these sort of stories and a student's ability to be successful "in college" is certainly the focal point of much education reform talk these days. At issue, as I've noted before, is exactly what sort of post-high school education most people need. The country's myopic focus on "seat time" and a k-16 system is a hindrance to any real reform.

Hopefully, more discussion of alternatives to the bachelor degree will surface as the education reform movement marches on.


Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Hi! I checked the link and it is a propoganda piece. They linked the Republican Party with "teaching hate" and stated that abstinence education is ineffective.

Well duh, yeahhh, if you don't take the advice and remain abstinent, it's sorta an ineffective message, I guess... So therefore, we ought to teach our kids how to do dangerous things "safely?" How to put on a condom? How to mainline drugs?

Let's just say this was not an objective source of information, which makes me discount the "statistics."

mmazenko said...

I completely understand your point Mrs. C. It was a link that was sent to me, and I thought it was worth posting for the debate value.

I don't know that much of anything on blogs is objective, and statistics can certainly be read at least two ways.

I've often gone back and forth on abstinence education, especially having gone to Catholic school. I think any philosophy to the exclusion of other ideas is problematic.

Thanks for checking in. Haven't heard from you in a while.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

I've seen some of the facebook posts of the public education children when I log on "as" my 15-y-o son. So I would completely understand your perspective that we might want to teach some of these things to the children (not that I share it, just that I understand it).

But I should think parents should opt IN instead of go through a great to-do to figure out how to opt OUT.

The point remains that sex, drugs, vaccinating children or not etc. need to be private choices that consenting adults make, yk? I wouldn't want my children taught, say, *how* to use a fresh needle and find a vein to shoot up if they want to do drugs with their friends. It sends the wrong message, a dangerous one at that.

I'm ok with relating statistics about disease/ drug use but not with the teaching of the particulars (where to buy, how to use, that sort of thing). Hope that makes sense... b/c to my mind that is "enabling" the behaviour.

mmazenko said...

I cannot fathom anyone advocating how to mainline a drug - no educational program or agenda has ever done so to the best of my knowledge.

And there is a huge difference between teaching a kid how to put on a condom and how to "mainline a drug." Those examples are the antithesis of each other in terms of education.

As an educator, I feel schools have a responsibility to teach and promote public health. And while I support abstinence education, I am not opposed to sex ed either. Knowledge, in this case, is not the enemy. And no school that I know of is promoting drug use or sexual activity.

The question of whether to teach safe ways "if they are going to do it anyway" is where this discussion gets dicey. No easy answer on that

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Yes, I was using an extreme and thankfully FICTIONAL example to make my point. If it's dangerous and not a recommended behaviour, WHY teach kids how to do it? Though I see your argument, too, from a health perspective. I just disagree with it because I'm the mom of teens that do watch and listen to teachers. Even if it doesn't look like it sometimes, the children are learning from you every day. God bless. :)