Barack Obama Closing School as Education in the US is Self-Destructing

It doesn’t take an engineer of the private space industry to figure out that we have a problem with education in the US and whereas, it isn’t as bad as folks claim, it’s also not as good as it could be either. So, rather than condemning our schools, laying off teachers, and closing some perhaps we need to re-think our schools going forward in the age of instant information. Is the Obama Administration doing that? Well, they are trying, I can agree with that.

For instance they have established a research arm for education modeled after DARPA Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, and why not, it’s worked for the Intelligence Agencies with IARPA and for the DOE with ARPA-E (“E” for energy), so there is no doubt it will work too to assist in education. Still, we need to expedite these new technologies if we are to save our schools, otherwise they will fall behind the needs of this future generation of leaders. After all, a nation is only as strong as it’s schools were 20-years the prior right? I think we can all agree with that as well.

Not long ago, an acquaintance mentioned to me after reading an article in “Yahoo! News” titled “Barack H. Obama Elementary to close” and she stated who knows; “Maybe this is a good sign of the future of the anointed one. Close the school named after him and closes his chances of impressing anyone in the future with his political nothingness.” As we discussed the irony of this situation, she lamented that although this is surely a coincidence it is also a foreshadowing of things to come with President Obama’s legacy, chances for re-election, and promises for hope and change.

Indeed, I thought about the closing of this school, and the many others around our nations, perhaps for budget cuts, or due to lack of performance, and I thought, yes, we have problems and challenges in education. And yes, this particular school closing, well, it’s part of a major round of budget cuts, but you have to admit it is a nice piece for the news, due to the fact it is rather ironic, as Barak H. Obama has been so adamant about the need for education and his fever in devising a plan to fix it, using the (purported) greatest minds in academia to devise a plan.

In fact, I thanked my acquaintance for sending me this news, and our follow-up dialogues and said; “I think I’ll do an article on this. Thanks,” which led me to write this piece. Still, it’s all part of a much bigger picture isn’t it? Sure it is, we have a terrible problem with education in this country and nothing really seems to be working – and I think everyone knows it too. Yes, this is a controversial topic, but it is one we discuss rather often at our think tank. So, sound off with any comments, questions, and or concerns you might have in this venue. Think on it.

Education – Are You Investing in Yours?

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” – Sydney J. Harris

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” – William Butler Yeats

“Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.” Malcolm Forbes

I have always loved taking classes, attending lectures and seminars, reading and, lately, attending a plethora of teleseminars. Have you noticed that there are more right now than ever?

Yes, I would agree that I am a strong proponent of lifetime learning and education.

My family has even expressed concern that I spend too much time and money on books, teleseminars and information products. Therefore, I was delighted to hear John Childers, while being interviewed by Armand Morin the other night, tell about one of the most useful tips an early mentor of his had shared with him.

Childers said that this man had told him that one of the reasons starting businesses fail is that rather than spending money on advertising, they wait until they have made some money (which they don’t without getting the word out). He said that it is the same with education and learning. Many people plan to wait until they have money before investing in their continuing, lifetime learning and education.

He and Armand both stressed that those who succeed have invested time, money and effort in educating themselves. Now, I am not suggesting that you spend thousands of dollars in furthering your education. But I am proposing that you find ways to learn, learn and learn more from the experts.

The great news is that with the information – almost overload – available today, we have no excuse for not learning. Not only is the Internet loaded with great articles, well-researched and written e-newsletters and reports, the teleseminars are terrific ways to attend a seminar without paying for travel and overnight expenses. And, most of these are now recorded as MP3s which can be downloaded and listened to, time and time again – no long distance phone charges.

And, don’t forget our public libraries. The books, tapes, CDs and use of computers are there for us to learn from. It is almost too easy! I wonder if that is why more people don’t make use of these incredible opportunities that available to all of us – whether we have extra funds, or not.

I know that you are looking for some new quotations about education, and I found some great ones:

  • “Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.” – Daniel J. Boorstin
  • “The most important function of education at any level is to develop the personality of the individual and the significance of his life to himself and to others. This is the basic architecture of a life; the rest is ornamentation and decoration of the structure.” – Grayson Kirk
  • “Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten.” – B. F. Skinner
  • “An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don’t.” Anatole France

So, my question for you is, “What have you learned lately?” I remember the late Leo Buscaglia sharing that every night at dinner his father would have each of them answer the question, “And, what did you learn today?”

Let me leave you with one more quotation to think about. Erich Fromm wrote, “Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?”