A new focus on education

Two hundred years ago making garments for the family would have started with shearing the family’s sheep. One hundred fifty years ago preparing meals for the family would have started with growing the crops and animals.  When your great grandfather bought a Model T Ford he got a bag of tools along with the car. If you bought your first computer in the eighties a book on writing code may have been included with the new personal computer.

What does clothing or meal preparation have to do with a Model T or a computer? People had to learn every activity associated with the goal they had in mind. If you needed a new coat you had to learn how to shear a sheep and spin the yarn and weave the cloth.  If you wanted bread you had to learn how to grow and harvest and mill the wheat and then bake the bread.  If you wanted to visit your Aunt Betty you had to first learn how to be ready to fix the Ford. Keeping track of recipes or music or Christmas card lists meant that you had to learn how to program a computer.

Today we take advantage of the items that are prepared for us and see nothing wrong with purchasing a shirt or a mix to bake a cake or buying a computer and using it right out of the box or jumping in the car to drive over to Aunt Betty’s granddaughter without having a clue about how the thing works. If we do not need to know how to make cloth or grow and mill wheat or fix a car or write computer code then why do we have to learn those skills? We don’t.

The current American education system is teaching many skills that are not needed to get where a young person and society wants to go.  Why does a child have to learn mathematics beyond basic arithmetic when the cell phone calculator app can give the correct answer?  Why does a student need to know geography or history or science when Google can answer questions about those subjects? Receiving an education beyond the basics of “readin’, ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic”? It’s a lot like learning how to shear sheep and mill wheat and write computer code and repair a car—it’s just not necessary.

So where do we find ourselves?  We finally find ourselves with an answer to the question of how do we improve the test scores of America’s children.  We finally find ourselves with an answer to the question of how do we pay for education in America. We simply shut down our very expensive education system, beyond what is needed to teach basic arithmetic, basic reading and how to use a cell phone (I think that the kids are  already cell phone experts) and then spend part of the money saved on increasing the capabilities of the cell phone and Siri, the iPhone virtual assistant who will answer any question asked.  We can then test the students on their amazing cell phone skills, so the politicians can pat themselves on the back for the great test scores, and sell or lease the surplus school properties to generate even more revenue.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  If students are just googlers then where will the brilliant minds come from which are needed to create the new Googles? The answer? From Siri.  If a kid asks a question about a subject that is of interest to him or her and follows it up with more questions Siri will take note and report that interest to the proper authorities.  Children with a real desire to learn will be educated in training centers that are focused on the interests of that child and the needs of society.  If the only question that a child asks Siri is “what is Justin Bieber’s shoe size?” well I guess it’s best for all that the child’s expensive school experience comes to an early end. I doubt that we will miss many surgeons or rocket scientists from that group.

Think of the possibilities for a booming economy and the taxes that go with it when there is more money being spent by the populace because of tax savings (or more newly freed up money to be taxed somewhere else).  Think of how Siri could direct a person asking a question to the exact store or product or service that has been chosen to be targeted by the authorities.  Washington will finally have the tools and the information and the ability to direct the economy and society in the best interest of the American people.

A populace which is a little happier because its children are doing better in school and a little more prosperous because money has been freed up to spend is a content populace.  Keeping the people in a happy state may even become a little easier task for the government since that freed up money just might mean another layer of entitlements will become available.  Keep the people content and calm or at least non-violent. Safe streets are happy streets.

“Hello, Siri, I’m hungry, what’s for lunch?”

“This morning, please walk straight ahead two blocks to McDonald’s for the EBT card deal of the day.”

“Hello, Siri.  What’s new today?”

“All of the information designated for you has been sent in audio form.”

“Hello, Siri, I’m bored. What can I do?”

“Please proceed six blocks to the New Tomorrow Multi-Purpose Community Building, the former George Washington elementary school, for your recreational sports, social and entertainment needs.”

”Hello, Siri, I need a job.”

“I’m sorry, I do not understand.  Please rephrase your request into a question.”

“Thank you, Siri.  I think you’ve answered my question.”

 

 

 

 

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Forty three

Forty three years is a long, long time and a lot longer than thirty and way more than twenty years which is twice ten that once seemed like a lifetime.  But I’ve learned that measuring time in years doesn’t always work.   

Measuring time in years is about what has been spent. Measuring time in memories about family and children and grandchildren and friends is all about things that have been and about new memories that are waiting to be made.

Forty three years is a very long time and we still have lots of memories ahead.  I want to create those memories with you.