It seems like the solution to so many education problems is money. The schools that struggle the most are the ones who have the least resources and funding. Teachers want to work at schools where they can have access to the resources they need. They also appreciate working at school where the possibility of getting a raise is not out of the question. So this seems like the answer to all of our problems—gives schools more money. The thing with that is where does this money come from and who is giving it. I feel like every year politicians running campaigns promise that they will give more money to education and schools. No one generally disagrees with this, no says that teachers should get crap pay and that kids should have to go to schools with dangerous conditions. People and politicians do not say this but their actions do. No one wants to seem like the bad guy so they say they will give money to school but do not actually do what they claim.
Why is education not valued? Some people argue that education is valued in America. We are a nation of innovation and education is a part of that. I say those people are wrong. If education was valued we as a nation would put the money and time into the education system that it deserves to be considered valued. Also if it was important should not teachers been seen as an important part of the fabric of the American identity? Instead the mantra behind teaching is “those who can not do teach.” What does that even mean? How does that make sense? How could I teach someone to do something if I can not do it myself? How can I be a history teacher if I do not know anything about history, that logic is just counterproductive.
We watch this awesome ted talk (which I will include at the bottom of my post) in Politics of Reading this week. A nonprofit went into a poorer county in North Carolina and is creating real change in schools. The structure of the community and school is being redesigned. They are also creating a design class in which student build a project for the community. The students decided to build a farmers market, for the school year they will research and design the project. In the summer they will get paid to execute the farmers market. This idea is great and the way it includes the community is commendable. My question is where does the money for this project come from? This program is great put one of the main reasons this is possible is because money is donated to make it happen.
Why do we talk about reform and change if those things will not happen. Real systematic change can not happen without money. Money is not the answer to everything, it can not help a bad teacher magically become better. It can help teachers who are honestly trying to do good for their students. Money can give teachers a reason to further their education with master degrees, and becoming national board certified. I do not want to hear politicians saw they want to help when they are not willing to invest. That is what education should be, an investment. If teachers are going to invest their efforts into students, and those students are investing their time and work into their studies, then it is the duty of our government and leaders to invest money into the system.