Support the Café

Search our Site

“Time to panic about kid’s education”

“Time to panic about kid’s education”

A recently released report has some sobering news for American parents. Children in the U.S. are falling further behind world standards in education. Some of that may be due to an increasing focus in other nations, but it’s alarming that the American system isn’t able to keep pace.

LZ Granderson writing on CNN’s blog makes this point:

“In the span of one generation, we’ve fallen from first to ninth in the proportion of young people with college degrees, which I guess isn’t a total surprise considering newly released ACT scores revealed that only one high school graduate in four in the class of 2011 could meet the benchmarks for college readiness in all four core subjects.

Combine that with our global ranking of 14th in reading, 17th in science and 25th in math, and it would seem our education standing is in far worse shape today than our basketball footing was in 1988.

But instead of our educational equivalent of a Jordan or Magic putting their egos aside for the sake of the country, we have teacher unions fighting politicians and poor districts facing even deeper cuts.

In other words, we’re closer to the Bad News Bears than any Dream Team when it comes to education.”

More here.

The Church has a role to play as advocate for children in society. Especially so because the poorest and the most marginal of children are the most likely to not be given the sort of education that is essential for the citizens of a successful democracy.

What about the education of the young within the Church though? Are we keeping pace? As the economy has continued to sputter here in Arizona, one of the most common responses congregations seem to be making it to let their Christian Educators go. It appears that children’s christian formation is being seen as an option rather than a necessity.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kurt Wiesner

Murdoch Matthew:

While I don’t disagree with what you say, I don’t think that the author was making a judgement call against unions and for politicians. I think he was saying that the wrong battles are being fought. Personally, I would have listed it the other way around (politicians fighting teachers unions), but I don’t see this as commentary on what has been happening in Wisconsin. I see the article clearly calling for everyone to work together to strengthen education.

-Kurt Wiesner


What can we expect? As a culture, we have no respect for intellectual attainment or education. Think of the sneers and resentment directed towards “those ivory tower folks.” We idolize sports heroes and actors, not thinkers, and worry about “self esteem” in the classroom, but not on the playing field.

One of the striking findings from previous studies is that American children have an unrealistically positive view of their achievements– the equivalent of “every child is above average.” They actually think they are pretty good.

Meanwhile, we have a major political party that prefers ideology to evidence. Consider the anti-science views they espouse, including “opposition” to evolution, climate change, sex-education, medical views of homosexuality… the list goes on.

Then combine this with anti-immigrant views that keep the best-and-the-brightest from coming to the US, and you have a recipe for economic downfall. Societies that value education, rather than ridicule it, are the ones poised to become economic leaders.

The US is poised to become a country of know-nothings.

–Susan Forsburg


What MM said!

JC Fisher

Murdoch Matthew

. . . we have teacher unions fighting politicians . . .

No, we have politicians fighting unions of all sorts on behalf of their corporate sponsors. What is the fight in Wisconsin about, but getting rid of public employees’ unions?

I’ve just read today about a large for-profit corporation that is taking over public libraries across the country. Cash-strapped local governments turn the libraries over to the corporation, which fires all the union employees and hires (some) of them back at lower wages and benefits. But the corporation makes its profit.

Unions have their downsides (they have been socially conservative and resist change), but their limitations pale against corporate greed and excesses. They are a bulwark for workers in a very uneven playing field. I’m sorry to see the Café letting union-busting propaganda slip through the filter.


(oops…that was me, Kurt Wiesner)

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café