We may spend more more on education than any other nation in the world, but test scores, literacy & graduation rates still lag tremendously.  Before anyone gets their new school panties up in a bunch, please realize this is an article intended for entertainment purposes only.  

 

Stop the madness!! I don't just need to learn who invented electricity, I need to afford to keep mine off when I'm an adult. Photo credit iStockPhoto

As a disclaimer I should let you know I'm married to a teacher.  She's taught for 8 of the 11 years we've been married.  I hear all that's wrong with the education system on a regular basis (here's a hint... it's not the teachers' fault), and I've quietly observed from both a parent's point of view AND an educator's (isn't that a fancy word?) point of view, and I'm here to tell you... the only thing Americans are getting better at is finger-pointing.

I came across an online article this morning detailing Iran's plans to teach school kids in the subject of drone detection.  This isn't just another idea by a crazed dictator (OK, it actually is), this is forward-thinking.  We've heard ideas thrown around on bettering America's school system by better preparing kids for the real world, not for tests taken with #2 pencils.

Those ideas have slowly come to fruition over the years.  When I was in high school 17 long years ago you could either take the college route, learn to weld in Vo-Tech or learn to shave a sheep in FFA.  Nowadays kids have a lot more access to alternative routes thanks to the internet and the availability of computers.  We've been shown we still lag greatly compared to countries like Finland, Australia and even Iran.  Yes, that Iran.

Crazy man Yo-Mama-jhad has implemented a core curriculum that now features detailed courses in drone-hunting.  While it's easy to pass this off as just another of the crazy man's crazy ideas, I say it's brilliant forward-thinking.  What's better for the good of the Iranian people... math, or drone-hunting?  Sure, there will still be long division, but Yo-Mama is thinking outside the box on this one, and I'm impressed.

Even if you didn't take enough math to thoroughly count the money you earn, it's still best to be prepared for a job after high school that actually pays you money instead of four more years of school at a high interest rate. Photo credit iStockPhoto.

Before you send the black helicopters circling over my house for daring to speak such things, just think about it.  Meet Joe Blow, an American 8th-grader with no real aspirations to spend his life in a lab developing the next great cure.  Yet he's still forced to sit through countless hours of needless science & math that could just as easily been learned on the Discovery Channel on a Sunday afternoon.  Wouldn't he benefit more from some real-world training?  Whether it's in the medical field, IT or even construction, we can send our kids out better-prepared to handle real world jobs.

Sure, Joe Blow doesn't know how photosynthesis works (or how to spell it, although I DID get it on the first try without the help of spell-check), but that's why the internet is around... for learning the things we've already forgotten from school so that we don't look like complete morons in front  of our kids.  That, and to see cute pics of pets, of course.

I'm quite sure a bulk of the teachers would support the idea of getting kids out of classrooms where they're nothing more than a bored distraction and into a real-world setting learning the tools of a trade they may one day actually use.  While we currently don't have a need for drone-hunting, we could certainly use a few more drone pilots.  Take one of these stoner video game kids in their freshmen year & get them up to snuff on drone-piloting, and by the time they graduate they've already got a job lined up.  Uncle Sam also has drone-ready pilots right out of high school, taking real pilots from behind the video game drone screen & back into a real cockpit.

We can now hunt drones!! Thanks, Yo-Mama-jhad. Photo credit iStock Photo

We spend more money, but get worse results, than just about any other first-world nation.  In a time when we're so concerned about the economic state of our country & scream that we can't put this debt burden on our children, wouldn't it make more sense to spend the money in a constructive way?  Why provide our kids with a debt-free future if we're not going to have them best-prepared to run things once we're dead and gone & they're running things.  Sure, every elementary school-aged kid in American can dream of one day being president or curing cancer, but by the time 8th grade rolls around the dreamers have clearly separated themselves from the doers.  Keep the doers laser-focused on curing cancer.  Meanwhile, what about the people that need to build the roads to get him to the lab?  What about the IT person needed to get that scientists' computer fixed?  We're not all Einstein.  The world needs Joe Blow, too.

We've been world leaders & innovators for better than two centuries, maybe it's time we put our ego in check & start to learn from the rest of the world on the best ways to prepare our kids for the future.  One subject not subject to being skipped by alternative schooling options?  English.  Learn it.  Love it.  Speak it.