I received a comment from a reader who is completing his Mechanical Engineering degree. Congratulations!! That is quite an accomplishment and I know you will be in high demand in our technical world. He took great exception with my comments about our education system and the knowledge levels of our youth. I appreciate his comments and I posted them for all to read. He is proud of his accomplishments and rightly so. But, regardless of his accomplishments and those of the people he knows, the level of education of our young people is lacking. I noted in my previous post that the county I live in had half of the high school students that failed the reading test. Well, I was wrong. That statistic was for the entire state! And Florida is not alone.
America used to be the premier nation in education, science, inventions, manufacturing technology, and production. The statistics now tell a different story. Look who wins the National Spelling Bee the last few years. Home schooled children!! Why, the public schools don't teach our kids to spell. So, if they can't spell, they can't read. Remember the "Hooked on Phonics" adds? Now, after school tutoring on the basics is a BIG business! When I went to school, if you did not pass, they held you back. Now, we are afraid we will hurt the child's feelings. So, we graduate kids that can't read, write, or do basic math. I remember when one of the Washington Redskins players of the late 1980s came out and said he could not read and he was a college graduate! That is not an isolated event but he was brave enough to publicly state the truth.
How do we fix this? I have given this a lot of thought and I now think it can be fixes, but only if we decide we WANT to fix it. America needs a technological goal. When President Kennedy announced to the country that we would put a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of the 1960s, he set a technological goal that our nation embraced. The schools actually embraced the space race. There was a nation wide space exhibit going to all the major cities and many of the smaller cities. I remember seeing this exhibit and seeing a "Radar Range" boil water in under a minute! Now almost everyone has a microwave oven. That is the kind of challenge we need to get our education system going again. What technological challenge? I have a few ideas; How about travel in space at the speed of light. Changing the electric grid to power generated from the sun. Not the bulky solar power, but mass power from the sun. These are two ideas from a tired mind. Those of you who are young, intelligent, inspired, can come up with much better goal. We need this challenge to restart out country. I am challenging you, my readers, to take up this torch and find the way. Our nation and maybe the world, depends on it.