Secondary Schools and the Illiteracy Problem in America
America has always held up to its imperative value system when it came to education: Compulsory education was ordained to make children read and write and to understand American democracy. No wonder things have changed since then-today, social academic engineering has progressed our secondary students along from the elementary grades year after year, when they have never been able to measure up to the standards set forth in earlier school environments. When you mutliply the affected populations accordingly, you can well understand why so many adults today are functionally illiterate-they really got off the “proverbial” academic train when they were in third or fourth grade.
Is it any wonder that employers complain that job applicants present themselves into their HR operations daily barely able to read the questions posed on job applications. Many high schools in America today are also liquidating literature and English content areas in favor of STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It’s great when a kid can function in the high math and science levels, but it is a tragedy when a kid cannot express himself/herself on paper. There is no upside to this development. We are gradually seeing a demise in our culture and in our superlative academic arenas in the wake of these new measures.
High schoolers today are presented with few alternatives if they have been unable to grasp reading/writing effectively well enough to grapple with society, at large when they become adults. Simply put, if a chld cannot read, he/she will never be successful and further runs an 80 percent chance of being dependent on social programs (Welfare, Medicaid, Prison and Jail programs as well). No one is telling our chldren the truth at the onset of their academic lives: “If you do not read, you will probably wind up in jail.” But, interestingly enough, the kids are discovering these sad state of affairs later on-when they reach early adulthood. When I speak with young people today about what happened along the way, they are adamant in their confused states: “No one really sat down with me to teach me how to read!” I am not going to discuss and argue over phonics content as opposed to whole language concept reading programs-which has become highly regarded throughout our schools today. In my estimation, it’s not how a child is taught to read-it is imperative that a child begin to read, and be able to warmly adhere to its principles and honestly draw upon its remarkable worth value in our society at large and en masse collectively.
Something is fundamentally wrong here. If our nation was built on principles of free education to 12th grade, and that each person has the right to avail himself/herself to academics as a forerunner to personal success, just where have the educators been when it came to improve reading skills in the early formative years in a chld’s life? I take this matter everyday to heart as I endeavor to correct the saddened situations I have personally become aware of. Needless to say, I have found the kids honest beyond measure in their attempts to explain what took place in their early scholastic years. Our public school system needs a definitive overhaul and we are sadly going to pay for these ramifications in years to come.