For what reason do we fork over thousands of dollars in real estate taxes to fund these educational institutions for miniature humans?
It’s a rhetorical question, maybe. I was always under the impression that public education was there to educate rich and poor alike, that people would be knowledgeable, well-rounded citizens, as is necessary if we are to preserve our democratic form of government.
But there seems to be a growing subset around here (here being the coast of Maine, if you couldn’t tell by my user name) that feels the entirety of the purpose should be career training. They deride art, music, history, and foreign language education as unnecessary wastes of money (but don’t dare criticize the expenses associated with the school’s football team!), and seem to think anything not related to a job is a waste.
Is this something that only exists in my latitude and longitude? Or is this trend perpetuating elsewhere? Why such a focus only on jobs? I know, unemployment is in the news a lot, and that may be a reason for it; but there is much more to being human than what we do to put bread on the table.
I may not be able to make a lot of money by studying Icelandic (or any other uncommonly-spoken language), but the enjoyment I get when I can half-understand one of the Sagas in the original language is a reward, in and of itself! Learning how to make a volcano in science class may not be practically useful to a lot of people; but it sure was fun.
I almost bought a book once, it was titled “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.” I passed on it for a for a book on the Icelandic language, but I was wondering if there may have been some truth in that title. It almost seems as if there is some force at work trying to stifle intellectual curiosity. Or hell, maybe I’m way off in left field somewhere, and just need to start hanging around different people.
Do we really want our schools to be nothing more than job training centers?