Learning About Education Reform From a Brilliant Mind

Thursday, 14 Apr 2011 08:08 AM

By Jacob Wolinsky

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Sometimes you can learn from very unexpected sources.

The weekend edition of The Wall street Journal had an excellent article titled “How To Get A Real Education,” by artist and author Scott Adams.

The article started out with the author stating that the current system of education is silly and a waste of money.

Adams argues that why train B students to become rocket scientists, instead of teaching them about a topic they might excel in: entrepreneurship.

Adams got into his whole experience as a B student, and becoming a venturer in college, he used his skills to become one of the most successful and well-known people of our time.

Instead of focusing on the details of the article, I wanted to look at the problem with our current education system.

Our education system is failing. Everyone across the political aisle agrees we have a problem.

The response over decades and decades has been just to throw more money at the system. In 2010, close to $50 billion was spent by the federal government on education. This figure doesn't include the tens of billions of dollars that state and local governments spent on education.

I see the corruption before my own eyes. In the area where I live, there is a school that has almost no students because the vast majority of families send their kids to private schools. The school has acres of unused land, and buses children in from other districts to keep the school running.

Millions of taxpayer dollars are wasted in absurd situations like this across the country. It might only be a few million in one school district, but it adds up to billions when you take the thousands of school districts across the country.

While education only makes a small percentage of the trillions of dollars our federal budget, education reform wouldn't only help the budget problem, it also would help improve the school system.

America cannot only consist of rocket scientists or genius mathematicians. The country consists of high-paid executives and low-paid cashiers. In the middle, there is a wide array of students who are expected to get the best grades, and then fail to achieve it and are made to think they are less important.

These students can be the next generation of magnates and innovators that bring billions of dollars of wealth to our country.

Even if they aren't fit for this, almost every healthy person has a skill they are good at. Instead of encouraging them to fit a mold (which most will fail to achieve), we should encourage them to use their creative abilities to their full extent.

This will result in deductions to our federal, state and local governments, while simultaneously letting the American Dream roam free.

Adams could have ended up being a B student who felt inferior his whole life for not being the child who brought home As to his patents.

Instead, living American Dream for himself, Adams combined his best talents to become creator of the Dilbert  comic strip and the author of several nonfiction works.

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