Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

August 17, 2013

Ray Day: Schooling for our youngsters

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Several times in recent months, this writer was asked if I had any thought about the things that are going on in our education process. I have stated my opposition to the way the former head of instruction and his political allies were trying to bring a different approach to how our students are taught.

First off, I have to tell everyone that I came through the public school system, as did all the members of our family. Both of my daughters were honor students and they were taught the subjects that would help them through the growing process, as well as being able to understand the ways of the land.

Now, that is where I get upset these days when I hear we will have a computer for each student to use at school and take home to do their homework. Folks, the public school system is where you learn all the basics so you can understand life and be able to proceed with further education. It's the primary way to learn so you can understand how computers work. You need instructional help from those teachers from the first grade on up through high school.

Now, I know many parents have decided on home schooling and that is OK with me as long as they have the education to lead a student through all the things needed to one day graduate from high school and go to college. Using a computer to learn the basics is the wrong road to travel. You need to start at the very start, which is the first grade, and proceed through the next 12 years of learning not only the ABCs but math and English, along with the literature of famous writers of old who went trough the same procedure in their day. Using the computer is great, once you learn how to master it, but remember, not all things you look up on that computer are solid, true facts.

You only learn those things from good teachers who have gone through the preparations of life to get to where they are now. Now, another thing you have to realize is this: computers can be manipulated to come up with an answer that will benefit whoever is on the other end. As to charter schools, if a parent wants to send their child to a charter school, they should have to pay their own way. That bill should not be put on the taxpayers' shoulders. If a parent wants to educate their child at home, then they should be versed in all the things needed for proper learning. I see nothing wrong with in-home schooling but it, like charter schools, should have to bear the cost of such education.

So in short, I would have to say the road we have been taking these past two years has a political background and so it has no chance of giving our children the proper education they so dearly need.

Put educators back in the schools and make it worth their time, but don’t go overboard with salaries that are so offending to the taxpayers. What we as parents need to do is monitor the actions of our heads of education and question any sudden change in that body’s actions that not only affect the children, but also the taxpayers who are footing the bills. Remember this at all times.

When someone desires to take us over, they start with our youngsters and feed the thoughts to them, as well as those people who represent us. For a long time, our public schools have done the job of educating our youngsters and done it well. If anyone desires to not use that system, they are free to home school their children or to go to charter schools, but it should be at their expense and not ours. Another thing to remember is we learn through the teachings of trained people who need to know the work they do is a benefit to all of us. You don’t rely on computers when you have the schools and teachers there ready to serve us.

Ray “Uncle Ray” Day is a weekly contributor to the Kokomo Tribune. Contact him at uncleray@earthlink.net.