Brighter Children, Brighter Future


Education is a vital aspect of any democratic country. The reason it is so important is because citizens make the major decisions. If those decisions are made by uneducated individuals then the consequences can be dire. If a resident hasn’t been taught about their political and economic systems or how to critically think for themselves then their decision making process will be poor and the choices they make, and the candidates they select will reflect that.

Throughout this circus of a campaign, the man leading the race for Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has demonstrated several curious aspects of his personality to the world. The most glaring of these is his apparent unwillingness to use three syllable words, or provide thorough explanations for any aspect of his platform. Despite what appear to be major informational shortcomings, he leads the GOP nomination candidates by runaway numbers. His recent successes are largely due to him appealing to uneducated Americans. More than 70% of non-graduates favor Trump.

Obviously, one example doesn’t make a trend, but international research companies have established that America stands well below the norm for literacy, education (both in terms of spending and learning), science and math comprehension, and child enrolment (both male and female). In many of those categories, including literacy, and both math and science comprehension, we don’t even break the top twenty.

We also rank as the second most ignorant nation in the world according to Ipsos-Mori’s most recent polls.

How can we be considered world leaders when we perpetuate ignorance and fail to provide even basic first world standards of education to our children?

The answer is, we can’t. We are no longer a sociological world leader and until we rectify our education system, we are only pretending to be the greatest country in the world.

One major complaint that American parents (and students) have is that our children are “over-tested”. This is untrue. As far as standardized testing goes, we have significantly less than all of the most educated countries (excluding Finland, who has a completely non-standardized system). Our children participate in standardized tests roughly two or three times a year, on the high side of the estimate. Leading countries in the same category have their students participate in testing roughly once a month. Even regular, non-standard testing doesn’t occur as often in our schools as it does in those of our more intelligent counterparts.

Teachers in the United States aren’t even evaluated for performance in most states. Those that are, have their evaluations tied into their test scores and our solution for failing students has been to make testing easier, resulting in unreliable evaluations.

Studies have shown that educational funding is a drain on any economy. Unless educational funding results in a good education, graduates have no real knowledge of their field and are unable to fulfill a meaningful role after they enter the workforce. We consistently fail to recognize that and administrations consistently fail to fix this glaring hole, despite spending ridiculous amounts of money (more than nearly any other developed country).

The quality of our educational system has been suffering but not only because of testing and misappropriation of funding. Our schools are overcrowded, our teachers are overworked and underpaid and most inner city schools have inadequate funding and poorly maintained buildings.

In the mid-1900s, we fought for equality but a quick visit to an inner city school district shows that the struggle is far from over. The ethnic ghetto school system that has been established – and ignored – prevents our children from being exposed to other cultures and, often, adequate learning experiences. Out of sight, out of mind, has been a fixture that needs to be eliminated from our country in order for our students to reap the full benefits of school. We need to address the problem of segregating our schools and stop perpetuating classism and xenophobia in our educational system.

The problems in our country don’t begin with people like Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and their fear mongering. They begin with the seething anti-intellectualism of American society. An uneducated populace is more susceptible to fear tactics and bigotry. Democrats and republicans have both strayed from the really important issues in this election, choosing instead to scare constituents into voting for them. I am running as an independent because I believe in focusing on issues that will actually make our country great again. If elected, I will put education in the hands of the teachers and I promise that both our children and our future will be brighter. Voting for Art Drew is voting for a more intelligent America.