Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Education Nation"


Jasper # 2 Last Day of School, 1956: Back Row L to R: Edward Mitchell, Betty Lynam, Ramona Lynam, Virginia Vogel, Marylin Yearington, Carolyn Yearington. Front Row L to R: Danny Jackson, Gary Jackson, Byron Kapple, Doug Brown, Susan Brown.

"School Days, School Days, Dear Old Golden Rule Days. Reading and 'Righting and 'Rithmetic Taught to the Tune of the Hick'ry Stick."


NBC News is focusing on America's education system this week bringing together parents, teachers and students with leaders in politics, business and technology to discuss what's right and wrong with this country's schools. From what I've seen so far, the general consensus is America's schools are failing to provide a quality education for students and this country is suffering for it as well as falling behind other countries of the world.

This is not news to me. I believe my generation is the last to have been moderately well-educated and I credit that to the bygone one-room country schools. Oh, I'm sure, even back then there were some teachers doing less than stellar jobs as teachers. But between the County Superintendent of Schools and the Directors in the Jasper # 2 district, we had a very good teacher. Not only could she teach, she could keep order. Between her and my parents, I knew I was in school to learn.

It wasn't until I went to high school in town that I saw kids disrespecting the teachers and parents backing up the kids instead of the teachers. The "hick'ry stick" in the song lyrics refers to caning or paddling or a swat with a ruler which is what I remember our teacher using. (Not that I ever received such a swat.)

I am not advocating the return to corporal punishment in our schools. I am too far removed from what goes on in our educational systems in this country. I do know that I would not want to be a teacher. I do not envy them their jobs at all. I don't have any answers nor suggestions of how to make the changes necessary for all today's students and future students to receive a good education. I just know I believe change is needed. I hope the emphasis on education going on this week will continue until answers are found.

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