The Education System has Failed: Teaching Kids What to Think, not How



Our education system, in both public and private schools, has failed us and our children. To start with, schools across the nation are teaching ideas, facts, opinions, and much more. What is wrong with that? None of it teaches children how to think. Issues are not presented where they have to decide for themselves what is right and what is wrong. That is why we have a difference between street-smart and school-smart. School-smart means that one knows how to take in massive amounts of information and repeat it. “Street smart” means that one can think for themselves in a quick manner, come up with creative and clever solutions, and problem solve. Someone who is school-smart might be able to solve an extremely complicated math problem, but would have no clue what to do if their car broke down and they were stranded. Being both school-smart and street-smart is extremely important for this generation; the world around them has become a much more dangerous place.

It would still be somewhat respectable if schools had succeeded in teaching the school-smart side, but it has failed that as well. An example of the extremes of poor schooling is the Detroit Public Schools Community District, which recently replaced the Detroit Public Schools system. Only 8% of DPS eighth graders can read proficiently according to the US Department of Education. This is an abysmal amount of literacy for a city that used to be the economic powerhouse of the United States. Some might say that this is due to a lack of funding and point out the “used to be” part of the last sentence. This simply is not true because the DPS spent roughly $16,000 per student. That is more than many private schools. As if this were not enough demonstration that lack of money is not the issue, the district is able to get away with using 75% of the budget to pay employees. The average Detroit superintendent makes somewhere between $121,091 and $178,871 per year. For running failing schools, it certainly seems like the staff is well compensated for their “service.”

Be it propagandized children or students who simply were not fortunate enough to have a passionate teacher, this generation will be ill-prepared to face the world once it is their turn to lead. With an increasingly more powerful and violent Middle East, a rapidly militarizing and economically growing China, and an aggressive Russia, they will be overwhelmed. It is up to us to fix this before it is too late. In order to educate our children, we have to break through the bias, propaganda, corruption, and lies. Teachers should actually do their job and teach. Only then will the blessings of liberty be secured to ourselves and our posterity.

Author: James Kurlich

Questions? Ask away at

Works Cited:

@lindseymburke. “Detroit Teacher ‘Sick Out’ Underway While Just 8% of Students Can Read.” The Daily Signal. N.p., 20 Jan. 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

“Social Science Says Our Education System Is Failing: Will Liberals Listen?”National Review. N.p., 07 July 2016. Web. 15 Sept. 2016.

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