I was a high school teacher for almost six years. I come from a family where the value and importance of an education was ingrained from an early age. Three of the four of us have graduated from college and my youngest brother is currently a junior in college. So, to say that I value education is an understatement. Hence, it is discouraging that when faced with a budget crisis on both a local and national level one of the first things to go is funding for education. When Janet Napolotano left her position as Governor of Arizona to join Barack Obama we lost a huge advocate for education. Our new governor, Jan Brewer, stayed true to her party's history of minimizing the value of an education and started slashing funding for education from kindergarten through college. Along the same lines, one of the biggest points of contention between Dems and the GOP when debating the stimulus package was funding allocated for education. In order to get it passed, money for education was cut. I don't understand this line of thought.
The United States does not sit on an academically or intellectually superior throne anymore. We are surpassed by lesser and more undeveloped nations on an annual basis who achieve more, are smarter than we are, and whose leaders invest in the future of their country. Arizona, specifically, already ranks so low in national education (48th) that it would seem that we wouldn't want to drop much lower. It's interesting that those who are so critical of our educational system are the ones who want to continue to strip that system of the money it needs in order to educate our future leaders. So, basically they want to give schools no money yet then want teachers held accountable when students don't succeed. That sure makes a lot of sense.
I am certainly not naive enough to think that everyone needs to attend college. I realize there are many successful people in our world who lack a college degree. However, in today's climate especially, a college degree opens doors that simply having a high school diploma would not. Someone with an engineering degree, for example, would get a job working at Boeing before someone who lacked a degree (as a friend of mine recently found out). People would hire an independent contractor who has training in a specialized area before they'd hire someone who is simply self-taught or has a natural interest. While your continued success might not lie in the fact that you possess a degree from an institution of higher learning, the initial opportunities afforded to you were certainly a result of the education and degree you received. You would think on that point alone it would be enough to convince those who so willingly throw away money overseas to fund a losing effort on a war based on misinformation would rather spend that money on our own country in an effort to educate the people who will be making these decisions in the future.
Part of me wonders if there is a conscious effort to keep our citizens uneducated. After all, the uneducated are often the easiest to manipulate and brainwash. They don't question or challenge. They follow blindly what they are told and react aggressively and irrationally when confronted with an idea that differs from their own. I realize I am stepping out on a limb here, but with all the areas that funding is being cut from it makes me wonder what the intention of these politicians are.