The American Education System – Do We Put Too Much Value Into It?

sat

So, the current revision of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is set to max out at 1600 points. The previous version was 2400 points. And, when combined with the American College Testing (ACT) score, it’s supposed to define a child’s future, eligibility for college, and make or break their hopes and dreams.

But, neither of these tests (in my personal opinion only), holds any more value than the American “credit score” system (a wholly unbalanced, awkwardly valued, heavily error filled, and substantially bias and crude system of valuing an individual’s credit worthiness). The credit score system, a method of blackmail used to ensure that people incur, keep, and maintain a constant debt (and, no, I’m not being off the mark, as even international problems from following the American model have cropped up in recent times). But, big business doesn’t just ruin economies by attacking the average citizen, it also assaults the youth by attacking their grades. The  “College Board” is supposedly, a not-for-profit business that ties students and their SAT‘s together, to help make the world a better place.

Yeah, right.

For anyone who’s had to deal with these money-mongers, you’d know just how commercialized their tactics are (and that they charge a LOT for their services, although as a non-proft, are able to ‘defer’ costs for low-income students by taking the same amount of money out of taxpayer dollars … which is just as criminal). What people 40 years of age and up remember from the SATs (as a required part of their education), might be surprised to know is that the SATs are now an elective option that can only be taken by those students that pay for it (or you pay for it out of your taxpayer dollars). Worse, the scoring and testing system has been so bad that it has evolved multiple times over the past 20 years. Frankly, any testing system that doesn’t stand the test of time, shouldn’t be given so much effect on the lives of students, but it is (especially as the documented difference in performance over students with high vs. low SATs is literally negligible). Not to mention that the SATs were invented for military entrance … not academia!

Of course, the new SAT system by the College Board is supposed to be more accessible to low-income students … oh, but not because of money, because they ‘dumbed’ it down. Yep – they openly call poor people, stupid. But, doesn’t that also make it easier for wealthier students to just get higher scores and dominate the market, taking all the grants and scholarships? YES! By dumbing it down, the College Board makes themselves look like they ‘care’ – although they’re not going to get rid of the cost. Yeah … sounds real loving, doesn’t it? Khan Academy, whilst having some really great teachers who offer free videos on Youtube to help students, will offer a success-guaranteed crash course for a $1,000 dollars. Real ‘low income’ successful-oriented, isn’t it? And, even kids currently in advanced placement classes, with a 3.5 GPA, have scored a 68% on the test … without being nervous … showing that the ‘dumbed down’ results, may not be so ‘dumb’.

Here’s the kicker: the average scores, at a D+, dominate near the 68th – 75th and higher percentile of students who take the test (which varies between English and Math). That means, that 70% of the kids taking the ‘dumbed down’ version score a D+. What does that say about the SATs? What does that say about the American education system? If the majority of children can’t pass a so-called ‘dummy’ test, then something has gone terribly wrong.

Terribly.

act-sat

Scholarships, grants, and the like now look for a combined 75% or higher SAT or ACT score, and a GPA of 3.30. Now, I know some people are reading this and thinking that it makes sense that money should be reserved for those students who are ‘worthy.’ But, let’s ask the question: What does it mean to be, worthy? Is worthiness measured by how smart one child is over another? What about their background, opportunities, failures of the education system to actually give them a diverse and rich education (which in America, is a growing problem), or how about those students who have nervous issues during tests? Why should they be secluded? Is worth defined by those students who ‘tried’ harder than others? What if a person is trying their best? Should they just be thrown to the wolves for being ‘stupid’ without taking in all the facts? What if they have one subject, or two subjects, that are dragging them down? Studies have shown that the faulty predictive values of SATs, no matter how bad, were only limited to the first year of a student’s performance.

If it’s about students who tried, or had a great education, then you would have to exclude: Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Christopher Columbus, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, and a slew of others. Does that sound reasonable? And, how many famous inventors, scientists, and game-changers have been the beneficiary of wealth handed down to them (for example, the current President elect, Donald Trump?). There’s no statistics for that – but it happens. In fact, it’s so prevalent, we have a term for it: income inequality. In fact, studies have been performed, and it has been documented, that in almost every situation, success has only come as part of a multitude of factors all contributing to a single person’s dreams – and if any one of those factors is left out – so is that individual.

What about the kid who didn’t score perfect on their SATs? Did they get bullied? Were they abused at home? What about their opportunities? It is a known fact, by the U.S. Government and the authoring agencies that promote the for-profit, not-for-profit, College Board / SAT program, that money plays a significant part for those kids who get the benefits (AND the scholarships and grants)! That means the taxpayer dollars that are taken from you are going to support the kids who are already advantaged. The rest are going to become taxpayers just like you, working to make the rich, richer.

09sat1-master1050-v4No – that doesn’t mean that opportunity is closed off for everyone. People can learn. People can grow. People can beat the odds! It’s been done. Unfortunately, what you hear about in the Newsmedia is focused primarily on non-white groups (crudely and inappropriately defined as ‘minorities’). These stories focus on minorities because it sells. Every child, of every color and nationality suffers indignities and are discriminated against. Why? Colleges and Universities, as not-for-profit institutions, are in it for the money. They pay huge salaries to administration, have 100-year old infrastructure in need of upgrades, and are always looking to earn more government money (otherwise known as taxpayer dollars that come out of YOUR pocket). By focusing on those students who are an easy sell for easy high grades and thus, a graduation success story, they can garner more money. I’ve read articles from University Professors who outright attack poorer students, discussing how the rich and middle class are forced to pay more tuition to help the poor kids through.

“Well off students at private schools have long subsidized poorer classmates. But as states grapple with the rising cost of higher education, middle-income students at public colleges … now pay a growing share of their tuition to aid those lower on the income ladder. The student subsidies, which are distributed based on need, don’t show up on most tuition bills. But, in eight years they have climbed 174%…”

This is a load of cr*p. Those professors are just as ignorant as most others who don’t understand that colleges pull the funds for tuition assistance from government sources.  Additionally, administrative overhead has increased dramatically far beyond any concerns about subsidized education. Want more Proof? The recent shutdown of private colleges such as I.T.T. Government funded universities were tired of losing out to private colleges and literally screwed over near 100,000 people who were trying to better their lives. Yet, even with the removal of private colleges, tuition didn’t drop. Odd, isn’t it? How is it that those students had to switch over to government universities, bringing their government dollars with them, flooding the Universities with more money and yet … the prices didn’t change? That’s why I am disappointed by ignorant people who wear blinders to the truth to fit their little box of happiness. As a Systems Analyst, I don’t have the privilege of looking through rose colored glasses. I have to look at the bigger picture and right now – for students, that picture SUCKS.

tuition_increase_300x300px

And, as further proof that the government has backed the majority of subsidized costs: it is a direct cause and effect relationship that tuition has increased because of government spending on subsidized tuition without caps, ceiling, or accountability. This opened the door for universities to keep up-charging. Most students are given loans, not grants, and those loans have to be repaid.

It is well known that the higher test score requirements leave out a lot of minority students, too. This can easily be attributed to a large immigration force that has not been able to establish itself and not had the benefit of even attending school. Again, just remember, there are as many poor white kids as anyone else (especially when viewed on a per capita basis). So, I’m not going to get into color discrimination because that’s a whole separate topic.

I can go on pointing out the different discriminatory practices, the damages, and the capitalist drivers that are constantly crushing the education system – but for anyone willing – the truth is out there. Does it matter to you?

IT SHOULD.

I’m not talking about being some fuzzy, warm-hearted person who wants to throw yourself under the bus to help someone whose ancestors were harmed by your ancestors 200 years ago. I’m talking about the real life consequences, right now, right here, today.

How many kids have been tossed aside and unable to attend higher-education schools, left to feel stupid, derailed, stressed, and frankly, defeated into become just another zombie in the American economic system? What happens when too much credit is given to the education system as it stands today? Here’s my list:

  1. We create more generations of disgruntled, uneducated, and angry people who enter the low-end of the workforce, filling up spaces in the low to lower-middle class fields, who are unhealthy (creating a greater need for welfare-based health care), unhappy (creating more dissension nationally), and who have stopped caring (leading to a voting system where the majority of people just don’t vote anymore).
  2. We leave out opportunities that cannot be enumerated. This is called opportunity cost. What if little Joey down the street isn’t the English genius his friends are because his parents don’t speak good English, but if given a chance, could modify the human genome to end Cerebral Palsy? What if Sally, who is terrible at math simply because she is, wrote a dissertation or poem that changed the entire course of cultural biases that helped shape the world? What about a woman who wrote a book, with no formal education, that eventually opened up the eyes of Americans as to how the industrial era was evolving? And, the list goes on.
  3. We create a bigger gap in economic groups. This is the EXACT same trend that occurred over a long period of time during the middle ages, the Roman Empire, and other periods of time where the elite were narrowed down to a very limited few and the poor ranged in the hundreds of thousands to millions. This type of trend is what prompted the move to America and a Declaration of Independence to prevent such tyranny. The difference now is that there is no new land to escape to and there are exponentially more people meaning that the historical trend will repeat itself, but not in a new world (and instead, right in the middle of America).
  4. Crime will increase. The less opportunity, while people still need to survive, the more people will resort to criminal behavior. In the cyber age, it’s rampant on-line, and yet, has not slowed at all in real life. Who will you blame when you’re robbed, stabbed, or worse? The person? The system? Or yourself?

No – we should not take away the opportunities that students with a supposedly higher chance of success receive. We should put them on the same level with everyone else. Why? Doesn’t the spirit of competition often uplift some individuals? Doesn’t inspiration come from observation? And, we need to stop giving so much dang credit to a corrupted, and wholly failed education system. Besides, those with a higher chance of success don’t need bonuses – they’ll get there. It’s the ones at the bottom that may need a hand-up! We need to abolish ethnic grants and put money out there that favors children on every, possible level. Sure, there are some grants, and even FAFSA, that give preference to single-parent and low-income families, but those are limited funds that barely cover community college. Still, the opportunity is there for students willing to reach out and take hold. But, the degrees offered at community colleges are minimal and require students to go on to Universities after they graduate (which they still can’t afford). College class prices, books, tuition, and all of it, need to drop – a LOT. Community and private colleges need to be restored. Caps on subsidized funds and a mandatory drop in tuition for universities and colleges taking taxpayer dollars should be instituted. Do you, have any other ideas?

Do you have $68,000 laying around? Do you have the credit to finance that over 10 years? If you said yes to either one, good for you. Your child can go to a lower-level Oregon University. But, if you want them to attend a university like, Harvard, for example, you’d better be ready to put out $280,000+ (no – not for doctors, just basic lawyers). Why? Because money = better quality of human being = higher debt = more working = more money for the college = less money for you = lifetime of student debt = ????

quote-0011

For Universities supposedly being places of higher education, that math is frankly, STUPID. I’ve said it a billion times (because it’s the biggest problem I believe the world is faced with), capitalist rule benefits nobody – literally (even the wealthy are left struggling to keep their wealth as they force the economic gaps to widen). Even for those of you that can afford it, the entitlement your kids feel will most likely (98% chance or higher – based on my own research) transform into drinking binges and fraternity/sorority parties on campus giving your children a great start to life as an irresponsible, partying alcoholic! Super – isn’t it?

For everyone else: as I stated before, the government knows these things. The problem is that the government is made up of the privileged who were sent to college and live a great lifestyle and so a lifetime of debt is just a bat of the eyelash to them. Doctors laugh at the idea they should charge less because they owe hundreds of thousands in student debt, on top of their mortgage, car loans, boat, loans, etc. While, the person who could make a difference, is working in some fast food joint, miserable, and without any hope.

high-earning-jobs-without-degree

So, the answer is:

Yes, we put too much value into the education system. Monies need to be balanced between overhead administrations and actual students. Students need to be put on level playing fields and we have to abolish the commercial “not-for-profits” that are making bank (not to mention how mean they are about refunds and ‘screw you’ policies … literally, such as the $10 max refund out of $40 spent. Not-for-profit? Really?). And, with or without a formal education, people can make the difference. It doesn’t happen writing blogs, posting on Twitter, or making friends on Facebook. It happens when “you the people” approach Legislation, overwhelm them and force them to realize how votes will remove them from office if they don’t support change.

It starts with you! You have power. Use it.

Thanks all! Hope you enjoyed.

A college degree is the key to realizing the American dream, well worth the financial sacrifice because it is supposed to open the door to a world of opportunity.” – Dan Rather (whose career went down rather poorly)

The cost of college education today is so high that many young people are giving up their dream of going to college, while many others are graduating deeply in debt.” – Bernie Sanders

I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it’s better than college. People should educate themselves – you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I’d written a thousand stories.” – Ray Bradbury

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “The American Education System – Do We Put Too Much Value Into It?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s