By Ian Ziller
Education, in our current societal and political environments, is taking a beating. There are many examples of this. When Rick Santorum was running for president he came across as disparaging towards President Obama’s desire to see more Americans go to college.
Mr. Santorum responded by saying, “President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob. There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor that (tries) to indoctrinate them.” CNN 2/25/2012.
The trouble with Rick Santorum’s approach to education is that we would slowly and surely move backwards. However, if we work to improve the level, quality and funding for education then we can solve the problem.
President Obama has a very different view. On Feb. 27 of 2012 he addressed the issue obliquely, telling the National Governors Association that, “the jobs of the future are increasingly going to those with more than a high school degree. And I have to make a point here. When I speak about higher education, we’re not just talking about a four-year degree. We’re talking about somebody going to a community college and getting trained for that manufacturing job that now is requiring somebody walking through the door, handling a million-dollar piece of equipment. And they can’t go in there unless they’ve got some basic training beyond what they received in high school. We all want Americans getting those jobs of the future. So we’re going to have to make sure that they’re getting the education that they need.”
This illustrates that President Obama sees the problems that need to be addressed because of an under educated populace. His point is one of self-empowerment.
One of the biggest issues in education is a lack of funding for our schools. For example, some school districts in Maine will be facing funding cuts for the 2016-17 school year. What this means is that some schools cannot offer programs, or services that would ensure a quality education for their students.
These cuts affect everyone, from the exceptional student who comes from a stable economic family dynamic to the student who may struggle economically and in their studies. Those that do not have full access to a quality education system, only perpetuates social and economic problems, which need to be addressed and fixed.
For example, when you have less educated workers then they are less skilled and so the workforce as a whole is less skilled and you end up with a situation where there is less productivity. So as we move toward a service economy more focused on white color jobs and focused less on manufacturing jobs. The reason why is that the country is relying less on factories and more on commerce and therefore skilled work is more needed. Also with the world moving into more of a digital age you can see that there is a sense that you need more skilled workers because you need people who are better versed in technology and so at the heart lies education.
Society needs to have a much better education system that will allow for more people to get a higher education because if you do not have a good education system then you end up with an overall less educated population. So it is very important that we as a society move toward having better education and focus more on education improvement so we are able to have a highly trained and educated workforce for the 21st Century. Having a better education system is not just needed, but is a requirement for our society to move forward.