I just finished reading the articles for homework and the thing that rings in my ears the most right now is how kids in fourth grade scored well globally, but high school American kids suck. Friedman said the longer we stay in school, the worse we do in general. It makes me think of my three year old daughter, Rachael. She is not in school at all; she spends her days dreaming up elaborate stories and acting them out, drawing them with beautiful outrageous colors and shapes, whirling around the house as if on wings, with energy and excitement that seemingly have no bounds. But when she has to sit down to eat, I’ve noticed she has started doing a funny little thing. I suppose she has been doing it for a while and I have just begun to realize it, and it seems to coincide with this whole education problem we are reading about… After eating half of her food or so, she sits back, looks up at me, and says in the cutest ‘little princess’ voice, “I don’t like this anymore”. Not that she’s full, but more like she’s bored with it. She often will come over and take some of the same food from my plate, or will generously allow me to feed her from her own plate. I can’t help thinking it is like that for our kids in school – they get up to 7th, 8th or 9th grade and feel, “I don’t like this anymore”. Just like Rachael will continue eating when it gets changed up a little bit, maybe we need to change up how we think we should be educating our kids. I don’t know what those changes should be, yet, but I’m sure going to think about it more. I know I don’t want her to get into 8th grade and all of a sudden say “I don’t like this anymore”.
All of these articles were great because Friedman wrote what he thinks is right and it all makes sense to me. There were some points that really stood out. For instance, the girl Miller who sends thousands of text messages every day. For me this is all of text messages. Also, another thing I really liked was the suggestion Friedman offered. He said that anybody who is not an American citizen but get their PHD in America should be offered citizenship. I completely agree with this point because why should we have somebody study here but benefit other countries. Lastly, I feel really sorry for the people who don't graduate from high school because then they can't join millitary. Friedman mentioned that 75% of Americans between ages 17 to 24 can't serve millitary because they didn't graduate from high school.
And parenting plays a tremendous role in education and how our children take on an attitude about it. The attitude that screams "I can be or do anything I set my mind to" or the opposite, "Why should I when no one else in the family has." Although we hear the word "reform" too many children and teens get pushed to the back of the line because they score low, can't read or write as well as others and plainly put, flat out poor. Just in today's YHR two local elementary schools have "made" the list for being low-scoring, low-achieving schools and are eligible for federal grants that will "help with the achievement gap." And they are located in the poorer neighborhoods. East side of town but one is north and the other is south. Changes definitely need to be made at all levels of education. It is only my opinion but I think many of the staff and perhaps society in general (on "that side of town") are simply labeling kids at those schools as "unteachable" and are afraid to invest any time with or in them. I grew up on "that side of town" and believe me I know first hand what kinds of kids are being shuffled in and out of those schools. My sister was one of those students who should have gotten extra help because she was developmentally slower than the average student but instead she was passed from grade to grade to grade with low scores, barely passing and no one cared in the least (at that time) to ensure she could read at her grade level. Now she works in a laundromat washing clothes for those who don't have their own machines at home. Of course until an invention is created to wash laundry in a mechanical assembly line of sorts that washes the clothes then slaps them on a conveyor belt into a dryer and who knows maybe even sorts them by color and texture and when all is said and done you get a call or even a text that asks where you would like your laundry delivered. Back to the parenting...my parents (as were so many) were drug addicts and alcoholics. The furthest grade level they attended was 3rd grade. They couldn't comprehend any of the homework we brought home. What we need in the schools are great motivators and inspirators. And quit calling it "Special Ed" for crying out loud. Talk about making students feel "special" because they know in some way that they are "different" than others....
Just finished reading the articles. I found the first part of the first article the most relatable and familiar. It is very obvious that the youth of this day in age are becoming tech-savvy and as technology progresses, the earlier they adapt to it. During our family get-together over winter break I realized my 13 year-old cousin had an iphone. And not only that, for Christmas he got a laptop computer. AND his 10 year-old brother has an itouch mp3 player in which he was playing games that he downloaded via wi-fi! Not only did I not know about wi-fi at 10, I didn't even have an mp3 player until I was about 15. I didn't have a laptop until I was 18. And I still don't have a cell that has 3G/4G internet support!It looks to me like there is a definite trend in youth using technology at younger and younger ages as technology advances.
What I got out of these articles is that too many people are trying to fix the education problem the wrong way. One talked about the government needing to work on getting either longer school days or years but if the motivation of kids, the parents, the teachers, and the schools remain unchanged this will solve nothing, if not make matters even worse by making kids hate school even more. I also no longer feel safe putting my future children in public school if the longer they remain in it the worse they compare to students globally. Since the internet is becoming such a powerful tool with globalization and the flattening world perhaps it needs to become more of a tool in spreading the word about these problems. The Blog del Narco in Mexico has made quite a splash, why not try to get something similar going in the U.S. Of course that brings up the question of who? and personally contemplating attempting to make changes on such a grand scale makes me feel small and insignificant so I guess it shant be me.
After reading the articles, I felt better about the future of our country and world overall. We as a nation are facing many problems, but nothing that can't be fixed with hard work and what Friedman stressed many times, imagination. I liked how Friedman continuously pointed out that it isn't how much we are teaching our future generations, but how they are being taught and what they are being taught. It's not all about learning to read and write but also about being creative and ambitious. He seems to have found that along with what he says in his book, TWIF, that we are looking for curious and passionated kids over intelligent. It is the children that are interested and want to learn that are taking our world by storm and occupying very hard to obtain jobs. Probably one of the most important points that I took from his articles is that bettering our children needs to start with parents at home. Parents need to take away the cell phones and TV while their kids are doing their homework. The homework may seem trivial and 30 years from now a child won't even remember assignments that he or she was asked to do, but doing that one assignment helped get that person to wherever they may be. My mom has told me this since I can remember, that I need to realized that I'm doing this work for me, not to please her or my teachers, but to better myself. I think that every child in America, or the world, needs this piece of advice because that's exactly the realization that has been needed for decades now by our future generations.
in a Search for in formation I found the dumbing down of American have you or any one else read any in edu about the on purpose lack of education and where it started? Sandi
I have a personal understanding of the woe,s American parents and the American educational system suffers...I have a 12 year old son in middle school that refuses to do his homework properly or turn it in on time, let alone show any motivation or ambition...his interest are video games and televison, eating junk food and trying to get me to purchase a high end cell phone for him. I try to motivate him and am actively involved with his teachers and school. My only other course of action is to possibly adopt the "Chinease Mother" concept..and do away with all distractions that inhibit his learning. Perhaps this will improve the playing field for his future. That was a good article to consider.
all i have to say is if we wanna be in good hands we better not shut our doors!!! lol
In the article "Laughing and Crying" I LOVE when he says "was that there wasn't someone from the Immigration Naturalization Service standing next to President Jackson stapling green cards to the diplomas of each of these foreign-born Ph.D.'s." because I'm I definite republican, & most people think of republicans to be very on the "no immigration" side, but I agree with Friedman here!! If people from foreign countries are willing to come here, work hard, & become educated, they DESERVE to be here!! Way more than many Americans do. If anything we should be kicking out the Americans who sit around all day doing nothing, NOT the illegal immigrants who come here to learn. These immigrants are only helping our country. "I want them all to stay, become Americans and do their research and innovation here. If we can't educate enough of our own kids to compete at this level, we'd better make sure we can import someone else's, otherwise we will not maintain our standard of living." He is so right!! My dad always tells me "if it were easy, everyone would do it." Same with these foreigners getting Ph.D.'s. They aren't easy to obtain. So we should appreciate them! But I do disagree with him when he says, "It is pure idiocy that Congress will not open our borders - as wide as possible..." because not everyone coming from other countries are going to benefit the country. This article gave me a whole new perspective of immigration! Thank you Friedman!!
I would have to say after reading the topics, that I use to not agree with anything Friedman said. Now I'm starting to agree with him more and more on schools. Since our school systems are too lax. As well as parenting in my belief, the day spankings where looked down upon, was the day that respect and understanding when something is asked by your parents, you did it. The idea of having no reporcutions of saying no is being imprinted at a early age. The kids do not have the motavation that once fueled and help kids along, since they are not pushed in school and out of school. But that is my view of this subject
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