“The rapid increase in adult illiteracy not only is costing an economic loss of $500,000,000 a year in the United States, but has become a menace to representative governments.”
In 1914 — yes, you read that year correctly — P.P. Claxton, the commissioner of education, said this. And it’s still true. If you have children, grandchildren, or a little sibling anywhere in the world that you even remotely care about, it is time to demand more. If you are a business owner who might ever hire someone who was educated in America, it is time to demand more. If you are a taxpayer who wants your fellow citizens to pay their fair share through productive work, it is time to demand more. If you defended or are defending America from danger and are worried about our future safety, it is time to demand more.
As young Americans marched off to fight the Nazi’s in World War II, millions traded their diploma for a draft card. It soon became clear that if a warrior was smart enough to liberate Europe, he was smart enough to graduate from high school.
The GED was developed to give warriors and veterans an opportunity to test out of courses as an alternative to returning from war and taking your seat, for example, in eleventh grade civics class. So the military commissioned the American Council on Education to develop a battery of tests covering including English, math, science and social studies. Within five years, many states had began administering the GED test to other non-traditional students including disabled students and students who needed to get into the workforce faster for personal economical reasons.
April 2 is World Autism Day as declared by the United Nations to draw attention to “inadequate support structures” for this life-long developmental disability. To celebrate, Congress sequestered. For families living with autism, sequestration is the Congressional gift that keeps giving.READ MORE
In 1867, with the stroke of his pen, President Andrew Johnson created the first federal Department of Education. Johnson, who was illiterate until adulthood, created the agency to collect data on the successes and failures of education across America. Less than a year later, it was killed out of fear that the federal government would take over education.
The Global War On Terrorism has surpassed the conflicts of the 20th century to now rank as our nation’s second longest war. Yet, we sequester. Repeated deployments with insufficient “dwell time” between have created stress on service members, their families, and their larger support systems including theDepartment of Veterans’ Affairs. Yet, still, we sequester.
Education is the greatest economic development tool known to man. It is not social welfare and it is not political fodder. It is much more important than that. No country can stay at the forefront of the world’s economy with an illiterate citizenry and yet our education system remains woefully inadequate to keep America at the forefront of the 21st century. In the words of Bill Gates; “we don’t need to reform the system; we need to replace the system.”
Almost every day there is talk about immigration reform. We know that businesses provide the carrot — the jobs — that attracts people from all over the world to come to the United States. We can also, as Americans, understand that there aren’t many places one would want to return to after having lived here. But when was the last time we, as a nation, really considered who we are hiring through our foreign labor certification process and at what cost?
Congress and the White House have spent a decade focusing on old school ways to dig out of a recession. What they have failed to notice is that this is not a recession. It’s a brand new economy and this economy will center on energy. The nation that dominates the harvesting of cleaner, cheaper energy will dominate the globe in the 21st century.
Every nation is grappling with the questions surrounding energy consumption. The more modern the nation; the more complex the questions. But one thing is for sure, energy is big business and only getting bigger.READ MORE