I love this picture, however I am unaware of its creator. I think it speaks to the state of education in America. Not just in schools, but in the mindset of most Americans. Americans want something for nothing. This wanting is the insatiable greed foaming at the mouth of America. We are destroying all that is possible because we refuse to hold sacred the value of people, only money. If we do not invest in people, we destroy the greatest experiment on Earth. Our existence is not all about profit. It is about people and the quality of their lives.

The educated differ from the uneducated as much as the living differ from the dead. — Aristotle

As public schools are being dismantled our foundation is being rocked. When education becomes for profit, we have lost our way. The idea that we dismiss the majority of students for a few is in essence taking down the ladder to social mobility. When our public schools have collapsing buildings, toilets that do not work, no hand towels or hot water in restrooms, no air conditioning, no heat, poor lighting, outdated materials, few computers and low paid teachers we are shouting, “I do not care about you. Your success is irrelevant to my privilege.” Our kids are the future. They matter. Genius does not discriminate. So why are we watching the pillar of our society crumble?

“Genius, is evenly distributed by Zip Code, but opportunity is not.” — Mitchell Kapor

Once we sell out the public schools, we will be left with a hodge podge of for profit endeavors.There will be no way to measure student success nationally. Every school will be different and there will be little oversight. The worst possible outcome would be a conglomerate of for profit schools taking over all schools nationally. When the outcome is profit, many students will be left behind.

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.- Martin Luther King

We gave up on public schools a long time ago. It first started with desegregation. Many Americans were not supportive of the mindset of equity in education. They still aren’t. Charter schools are a way to go backwards. Going forwards entails giving all students a shot at success. Students from impoverished neighborhoods need access to the same standards found at schools in wealthier neighborhoods. Unfortunately, that does not occur in most school systems. Busing students can help to diversify schools, but most parents do not like the long bus rides to and from school outside their neighborhood. Read here;

The Fall of the Lions
West Charlotte High School opened as a school for black children in 1938 and still retains a strong sense of pride in…www.charlottemagazine.com

Then teachers became the villains. They were not prepared in the classroom, their pay was too high, tenured teachers equaled to bad teachers and so on. Yes, there are some bad teachers, but most are dedicated and want the tools and support to teach our children. Teaching is a professional endeavor that deserves the support given to other professionals. Of course we can not forget about testing. The decision to leave “No Child Behind” and in the process leave all kids behind. The insanity of testing has been a crippling aspect for any positive educational reform in America. There are many factors that have held public schools back in terms of innovation and groundbreaking returns, but mostly it is the lack of interest in education in America.

Public education is not broken. It is not failing or declining. The diagnosis is wrong, and the solutions of the corporate reformers are wrong. Our urban schools are in trouble because of concentrated poverty and racial segregation. But public education is not ‘broken.’ Public education is in a crisis only so far as society is and only so far as this new narrative of crisis has destabilized it. -Diane Ravitch

Educating children takes a Village. It needs not just great schools that are innovative, but schools needs community involvement, they need corporate support, the interested involvement of higher education and immense political power. As we continue to lag behind other countries and demean intellectual undertakings, we weaken the fabric of our society. We must become education supporters and supporters of first class public schools.

It takes a village to raise a child. -African Proverb

There is no doubt we need appropriate schools to properly educate today’s young people. They will need to be on the forefront of a new learning revolution. Currently, our country is ignoring the needs of our students to be ready for this task. We must ignite a rebirth of the human spirit. All students should share in this opportunity. The United States must develop an aggressive plan to reinvent and invest in education in America in such a way that this country becomes the leading voice on not only student success, but insuring equality and freedom as our guiding principles.

“Education does not change the world. Education changes people. People change the world.” — Paulo Freire

Today education looks disheveled, distressed and unkept in America. The right mindset can change this. It is one of the single most important issues facing our country. When education success incorporates a Village mindset, we all share responsibility for the success of our students. Sadly, we continue to go backwards. We must change our definition of school and embrace learning as a means to cultivate the world into a place in which we would all like to live. This requires investment in people. Human capital in America is undervalued and under paid. This country must once again invest in human capital and in the future asset of our students to the world of tomorrow. Will you join me on this quest?

Most of what kids currently learn at school will probably be irrelevant by the time they are 40. — Yuval Noah Harari

Originally published at medium.com