Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

Education -

I am going through my journal of 1992. Clinton was running for president. The police who were recorded beating Rodney King were released, and rioting and protests ensued.

I am reminded that the first Bush cut library spending by 76%. It is sobering to see the results of that now in this election where it seemed we were dealing with two varieties of intellectual streams, the supposed "elites" and the "real people," at least according to Palin who still gets more press than can be believed.

We were spending $35 billion on "intelligence" in 92, at a time when there was no enemy.

A portion of that money might have been better spent on libraries and education. Of course, with easy access to libraries, taxpayers and voters can look up the voting records of their politicians. Now we have the internet so all that is changed. In many ways, we each have a library at our fingertips and yet there is nothing like entering the sacred space of a library and fingering and opening unknown books, sitting in a quiet space with others who also reverence words and what is there.

In 1992, ½ of school libraries in California had been closed in the previous decade. CA was in last place as to school librarians and would have to hire 3000 librarians to move into 49th place in the number of librarians per student. 40% of nonfiction books in the schools were at least 20 years old and up to 85%, at least ten years old. Again, now we have the internet, but it is often the "elite" who have the most ready access to it.

There is a sobering article in the NY Times today on how higher education may soon become unaffordable for most in the U.S. Again what a sin that Baby Bush, Shrub, took up a seat in college when he had no interest in it and there are those who crave the knowledge dispensed and gathered there.

If we do not educate our children, we will fall even more behind in the world.

This is from the following article:

“If we go on this way for another 25 years, we won’t have an affordable system of higher education,” said Patrick M. Callan, president of the center, a nonpartisan organization that promotes access to higher education.
“When we come out of the recession,” Mr. Callan added, “we’re really going to be in jeopardy, because the educational gap between our work force and the rest of the world will make it very hard to be competitive. Already, we’re one of the few countries where 25- to 34-year-olds are less educated than older workers.”

It is sobering as to the future of this country, as to the conscience. Look at what we spend on the last six months of life, and yet, we can't offer easy access to education for those who want it.

When it was time for my youngest son to go to the local high school, I was informed by the perky, well-intentioned young teachers that the students would not be reading the classics in their entirety, that it would be too hard for the students and would be boring. This erosion has been going on for a long time, and it is time to reverse the slide.



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