So much talk goes on about improving education but what is an educated person in society today? I mean, what constitutes smart? Intelligent? Worthy of admiration?
Is “smart” a person with a graduate degree from an Ivy League School? What about the Ivy League graduate who cheats on his wife, drinks and drives, evades paying taxes and gets in trouble with the law for things like embezzlement?
Do we consider the high school dropout who works 3 jobs for near minimum wage intelligent? What about if he puts food in his the mouths of his kids, coaches pee wee soccer, attends PTA meetings even when it might cost him wages and always stays on the right side of the law when it comes to being a part of America’s citizenry?
Have we not muddled our interpretation of these ideas?
Does character education not play an important role in school education? Does it not need to play a more important role?
These days I really wonder, is a Wall Street scoundrel who bilks investors out of millions, stealing life’s savings from the unsuspecting, any more or less contemptible than a gun-toting car-jacker?
Would I rather have students well educated in terms of character with low academics or students well educated in terms of academics but of poor character?
The answer seems self-evident (if it’s an either/or choice). Yet character education is completely NOT A PART of the way in which my school is evaluated. I mean why isn’t there some sort of standardized test for this aspect of school? While there are numerous ways we, in the world of public education, seem to be failing our kids, it seems to me that the neglect of this arena of school might end up being the most calamitous.