by Christopher Paslay
Leave it to newspapers and politicians to oversimplify the problem with public education in America. The root causes of failing schools are much more complex than bad teachers and a lack of charters, as the Inquirer states in their recent editorial.
For starters, cell phones are destroying attention spans and producing a generation of children addicted to electronic gadgets. Even the most cutting edge lesson plans have trouble competing with the soft core pornography and computer generated images found in movies, videos games and on the internet.
The divorce rate in America is also an issue. Many single parents are too overwhelmed with their own social ills to teach their children how to communicate properly and solve problems nonviolently. Respect for authority in many public schools is at an all time low.
In addition, many education policy makers, such as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, have no experience teaching. Often their ideas and strategies are off-base and impractical, and do not translate well in the classroom.
Public education is a direct reflection of American society. Blaming low student achievement primarily on bad teachers is like attributing heart disease to failing doctors.
Education will only improve in this country when responsibility is equally distributed between teachers, parents, and society at large.