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I am fascinated by education.  With education, people can contribute more to society.  They can be more self-aware, and more aware of others around them.  With education, communication is easier.  With education, it is easier to form rational thought processes.

I believe most Americans share a belief in the importance of education.  Most Americans want their children to go to school and do well in school.  Most Americans are willing to pay significant taxes to support local education. 

President Bush led an initiative known as “No Child Left Behind.”  I admire the spirit of the name, but I am daunted by the goal implied.  Children have a wide variety of mental aptitude levels and physical aptitude levels.  I love basketball, but by 8th grade, most of my peers recognized that my love of the game exceeded my aptitude.  I couldn’t make the team anymore, and I was left behind.  I then went to a high school that did not leave anyone behind.  If there were more people wanting to play basketball than could fit on a team, another team was created.  I believe my high school had five or six different basketball teams – varsity, JV1, JV2, fresh/soph, and another one or two.  I did not think that I was going to be among the best players, and I pursued another sport.  I left myself behind, because I did not want to be on the 5th team.

Some children do not have the skill set to benefit from attending college.  Sometime before college, these students realize that their skills are not as good as others, and they do not have the same interest in college preparatory courses as students that plan on excelling in college.

I believe that Americans should have the goal to afford and even require the basic education of its citizenry.  After all, citizens vote, and voters need to have sufficient education to make an informed decision supporting their preferences.  A basic education consists of reading, writing, and arithmetic. 

Thereafter, I believe that as technology and society advances, it could be possible to expand educational choices, just as technology has advanced the offerings of so many less important things such as automobile options, clothing choices, and vacation location alternatives.

Today, our school systems are still offering very little variety to students that have been in school for more than 6 years.  After 6 years of education, education and skill sets among students vary dramatically.  After 6 years, some students also begin to develop interests in education that could be focused on something other than a liberal arts college degree.  Others wish to focus more intensely on a basic traditional secondary education.

In and effort to better understand primary and secondary education, I spend some of my time substitute teaching in local schools.  The first conclusion I have reached from exploring early education is that society needs to take advantage of technology to increase the variety of offerings and the segmentation of skill levels of the student body.  Like all conclusions I reach, this conclusion is malleable based upon the furthering of my own education.

Underwood Farms

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