Our Education Crisis – Part 1

SOME OF THE ”BEST AND BRIGHTEST” ARE NOW GOING INTO EDUCATION AS A SECOND CAREER 

Sometimes unintended consequences can be good.  Some really bright people are being forced out of their lucrative careers because of today’s economy. These are people who could have done well as educators but decided it just didn’t pay well enough.  Now, they are going to education schools to get their teaching certificates.  Dr. Deirdre Green, Chair of  Teacher Education at the Columbus State University School of Education, says it’s happening at CSU. Some of the best and the brightest are now going into the teaching field as a second career.

In Finland, there is no problem in attracting the best and the brightest as a first career. That’s because in Finland educators are highly valued, respected and paid well.  As a consequence, Finland’s education system is ranked number 1 in the world.  Finland is number 1 in science and math, the United States ranks 17 in science and 24 in math.

I got that information by watching an Education Nation report on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams. The network decided to do the Education Nation project because our slipping education system threatens our economic position in the world.  Finland understood this more than 25 years ago and decided to pour resources into education.  It has worked for them. In one generation it has gone from a poor agricultural country to a successful high-tech nation.

When I presented this information, and the Waiting for Superman documentary’s premise that the core problem lies with the quality of teaching in America’s public school to a Columbus Academy of Lifelong Learning discussion class at the Turner Center at CSU, I got a lot of push back from the educators in the group. Most members of the group, by the way, are retired school teachers. They had some interesting reactions. 

More coming up. Stay tuned.

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