Monday, June 10, 2013

Does education in the United States need a complete overhaul?

A sweetheart reader told me she liked the story I wrote about the dual language program that will be expanded at Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. Children need to begin learning multiple languages when they're young, she said. And education in this country needs to be overhauled, beginning with how we treat our teachers.

I will agree with my reader about the need to value our teachers more.What I'm not so sure about is the need to completely overhaul the education system.

Yes, I know the complaints are abundant and loud. And I don't believe the system is perfect.

But -- I've said it before and I'll say it again -- it's not a failure either. Just last week it was announced that graduation rate in the United States is near 75 percent, the highest it's been since 1973. And according to an analysis by the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, the most notable gains come from traditionally underserved groups --namely Latinos and blacks. For more on the topic, click here.

 Do we need to improve our educational system? Absolutely. Do we need a complete overhaul? I doubt it. There are signs that things are already getting better, specially in California, where a new school funding formula proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown is likely to have won legislative approval as we speak.

If things aren't broken, you don't fix them. That doesn't mean they don't need fine tuning and maintenance.

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