A Stimulating Idea……..

With the stroke of the pen of our president, the U.S. Government set into motion the machinations that will spend nearly $800 billion of our tax dollars. We are in an economic crisis and no measure is too drastic to stop the spiraling economic contraction, to stem gushing flow of consumer confidence down the drain. We have been able to identify a problem, a massive recession, speculate about its causes, and come up with plan to address the problem. The jury is out about how much impact the new law will have if any. Did we not see this coming? A housing market out of control. Massive government spending with little to no return (foreign wars) coupled with tax breaks that made government borrowing inevitable. The American lifestyle had become one of instant gratification. Buy now, pay later, easy credit and booming sales margins…….all based on wealth that did not exist. A contraction was inevitable! There were many signs that the bust was coming, yet it was easy for us to sit and watch the train wreck coming as opposed to enact some painful measures (that pale in comparison to the pain we are enduring now) that could have curtailed the now mushrooming economic catastrophe. We need to do a better job of recognizing that we need to make changes to avoid very painful consequences in the future. I believe we are at the same crossroads in American public education. We are at a point where if we do nothing, our public education system will simply become irrelevant and become extinct. We need to recognize that what we have taught and how we have taught during the industrial and information ages has become obsolete. The students we have today have access to tools that allow them to do work that was done by specialists only ten years ago. Any job that can be done by a computer or outsourced to a foreign country to be done by workers who will do it on the cheap is no longer a viable career choice for one who want to own a home and raise a family. I am afraid that our schools are simply preparing our next generation for jobs whose time has past. We must reform our schools to focus on creativity and design, to foster critical thinking and problem solving. Today’s student must communicate, persuade, and have empathy in order to compete in the future economy. We cannot wait. Just as with the current economic crises, the signs are all there. The evidence says we must change before it is too late and we face an educational crisis of a magnitude that we lose several generations while we try to find the way to fix it!

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