Yet again we hear politicians who promise to “fix” education. They will emphasize math, science and technology, they say, so that our beloved country will not continue to lag behind other nations in these areas.
The truth is that to pay for these “enhancements” they will take funding from, or even end, instruction in art, music, literature, philosophy and, you can bet on it, social studies and foreign languages. Never mind that art and music provide bridges of understanding among all peoples, here and abroad. Never mind that literature and philosophy offer training and practice in critical thinking, or that social studies and foreign languages can allow us to understand each other and to succeed in what is already a global economy.
The politicians have promised to fix education before and, even with more resources, the math and science exam scores have not improved. We perhaps can strengthen our future by making education in math and science more effective, but we can also educate students to think about their lives, their communities and the world.
Jobs are important, but so are young citizens who have the tools to critically decode the words of politicians.
Dana C. Elder