Tuesday, May 9, 2017

I Have a Beef with Our Public Education System

What is wrong with our education system? I'm not sure, but I do know this: we are not doing right by the most gifted cattle in the world.

Have you seen the Chick-Fil-A billboards? These cows exhibit intelligence far beyond that of normal cattle, and yet they are absolutely horrible at spelling. Just take a look at this billboard I passed the other day:
Sorry, cows, but I have never dreamed of chicken for breakfast.
"Chikin 4 brekfast UR dreems kome troo." Seven words, and not a single one is spelled correctly! These are obviously intelligent cattle. They are skilled enough that somehow, even without opposable thumbs, they can climb up  a billboard, work as a team, and paint a message that thousands of passing motorists are able to read. And yet every word is spelled wrong.

Do I blame the cows for this? No, it's not their fault. I have a beef with our public education system! There are so many things wrong that I don't know where to start.

Is it overcrowded classrooms? We herd our students into the classrooms and try to corral them 35 to a room. 20 is plenty; with fewer students the teachers can get them individual attention to steer them in the right direction.

Is it teachers who don't care? While there are some teachers who are just grazing through their jobs and should be put out to pasture, the vast majority of educators are trying as hard as they can to rustle their students into being successful in the rodeo of life.

Is it too much emphasis on testing? We all want Grade A students, but wrangling them to fill in circles on a multiple choice test is not the best way to take stock in what they really know.

Is it a failure of school administrators? Sometimes superintendents and school board members try to lasso up a good education without ever visiting the farm and seeing the manure the teachers have to muck through on a daily basis.

Is it our expectations? Sometimes we brand cattle as being worth nothing more than fodder for the feedlot, but if we expect more from them maybe they'll show us what they're truly capable of accomplishing.

Maybe someday they'll even learn how to spell.

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