To a group of 14 and 15 year-olds at East High, why does this Matter?
It matters because as cliche as it sounds, there simply is nothing more important than education. I realize that saying something like that, and proving it to high school students are two completely different things.
Without Education, who will run our banks, our stores, our factories? Who will pave our roads, and fix our cars? Who will teach our children, and their children? Who will be our President?
There is an awesome responsibility on the students of today to achive towards tomorrow.
No Child Left Behind is a federal law that places an emphasis on results, specifically test scores, to demonstrate the effectiveness of the learning that is taking place.
This law places a tremendous responsibility on both teachers and students. Without results, schools can be forced to close. This means less schools, less teachers and less choice. The less schools their are, the larger the class sizes are going to be creating a more difficult situation for learning.
No Child Left Behind creates a vicious cycle where teachers are pressured into teaching to tests in order to keep thier jobs.
Barack Obama plans on reforming this system. The inherent failure of NCLB is that it has never been properly funded. Schools have been mandated to show vast improvements in tests scores, while being denied the federal support that they require to effectively deliver the education necessary to reach the bench marks that have been put in place.
This means less teachers, less Text Books, less time to teach, and more emphasis on Standardized Tests. Tests that fail to judge the ability of a student.
Education is a Democratic Platform. Republicans believe in less Government, which means no publicly financed education.
Obama is also focusing on affordable higher education. Offering a $4000 a year credit to any student who performs community service or volunteers.
When I try to explain the importance of education to a teenager I say this: Education gives a young person options. You start life with an unlimited number of possiblities for what you can choose to do with your life. As you grow and make choices, your possibilities are either increased, or decreased depending on the consequences of the choices that are made.
More education means more possiblities. Period. If I choose at 25 that teaching isn’t what I want to do, I can choose to do something else, because my education has granted me possiblities.
Had I not graduated from college, had I not graduated from high school, those possiblities would be limited.
I am in no way saying that you absolutely have to go to college to have a good life. What I am simply saying is that More Education = More Choices.
Barack Obama is going to make getting an education easier. He is going to make the education that high schoolers are currently getting more effective, thus creating more possibilites.
Which is Why This Matters.