Jerry Smith Guest Column: More money won’t fix education

When will you have the guts to actually tackle education, instead of all this trying to add more money to a failed “grand” experiment that has left us with high school graduates who cannot read, write, do basic math, or have even rudimentary knowledge of government and how it works? Who can operate cell phones and text, but take a test on computers and ask that same computer for the answers?

When will you pass a law that requires a student to pass, or take the class over again? Why should we fund 12 grades of supposed study, and then have to hold remedial classes before a student can enter college or university? When will you pull the computers from classes through sixth grade and actually have teachers instead of “facilitators” and classrooms instead of “learning centers?”

Early childhood starts in the home, and we learn to speak, interact, and solve problems in the family setting, and no preschool or kindergarten is going to replace that. Having attended school where there was no kindergarten or 12th grade in a southern “underfunded” state, we actually were held back if we failed a course. We actually were able to pass college entrance exams. It was repeat, repeat, repeat until we got it right and we never forgot it. Language, math, science, and history (including civics and citizenship) were taught and required in every grade, and no matter what else you took, these core classes had to be taken every year until graduation.

Oh, I know, I know. We have to prepare our “kids” for this brave new world of “technology.” Balderdash! Make “special education” for those who are special. Not illegal immigrants whose parents don’t learn English and want to preserve their native language and “culture” while we fund an entire industry for ESL, etc.

Immersion and assimilation works.

My best friend in grade school was a Greek immigrant who learned English with us and went home and taught his parents so they could pass their citizenship exam. Class size was how many showed up for first grade, be it 20 or 50.

So, come on. Some of you may actually had to go to school and take tests, get passing grades, and graduate with enough sense to pass ACT or PSAT or whatever. You owe it to the young ones coming up now to scrap all these social programs and insist on one performance test for our schools. A graduation rate of at least 85 percent (allowing for move outs), and those who desire a college education to pass the entrance exams. Just in case you wonder, having served in World War II, being a product of that generation of “boring” education was what enabled some 16 million of us to learn technical jobs in just a few weeks, work together, and beat two of the most evil empires in the history of the world. (We knew because we had been taught about the others. Our children may not be taught about German Nazis and the Japanese Empire’s atrocities because it may offend someone).

Soon my generation, the Greatest Generation, will be gone. No one will be here to remind you “immigration” has become “invasion,” and the rights of citizens are being given to illegal immigrants. If I jump the border into Mexico, I go to jail. If someone jumps the border into the USA, they are rewarded with housing, food, education, work permits, drivers licenses, etc. Not what we fought for.

So, hey, you keep on pandering to the unions, La Raza, something called the Progressive Leadership Alliance and quit listening to the citizens who elect you and pretty soon there’s going to be no “One Nation, Under God” ... oops, can’t say “God.”

Jerry Smith, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees, served in World War II from the Marshall Islands. He also served in the California Senior Legislature for 15 years as a senior senator.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment