Latest News

July 8, 2023

As a rock music fan, I enjoy Pink Floyd. But “We don’t need no education” is bad advice for life.

When our kids graduate school, they no longer just have to compete with each other. They now compete in a global marketplace. Not only have low-skilled jobs moved abroad where labor is cheap, but to attract new high-paying, tech-based jobs to America (or even to work online), our kids need an education as good or better than students get in China, India, Israel and other nations. Sadly, our schools are not giving them the tools they need to compete in the 21st century.

I have a friend who owns a printing business. He gives job applicants a pencil and ruler, and asks them to mark an eighth of an inch, a sixteenth of an inch and other simple measurements on a piece of paper. He tells me that no more than one out of ten even has a clue what he’s talking about. If America’s students can get a high school diploma without knowing basic fractions, then all we’re equipping them to achieve is a fraction of the American Dream.

Of course, the cry always goes up, “We need to spend more on education!” But we already spend over $550 billion a year, more than 4 percent of the gross domestic product. If money equaled results, then Washington, DC, should be crawling with junior Einsteins. DC public schools spend over $30,000 per student per year, or $10,000 more than the tuition for an in-state graduate degree from the University of Virginia. Yet DC’s reading, writing and math scores are well below the national average. Money alone doesn’t fix the problem.

Those who are obsessed with “income inequality” want to tear down those who earn more, but have no ideas for helping those who earn less. Well, here’s one: finish high school! Nearly a third of US students drop out. Over their lives, they’ll earn, on average, a quarter million dollars less than high school graduates. They’re also more likely to suffer ill health, get involved in drugs and crime, and die nine years younger. Staying in school benefits both them and society.

But if we want students to learn, then schools have to make them want to learn. To ignite their curiosity and turn them into lifelong seekers of knowledge. That takes both involved parents and competent teachers who are rewarded for good results. Kids need to be taught how to think, not just memorize standardized tests. They also need to be taught real facts and real history, not trendy racist, socialist and anti-American propaganda.

Dropping arts and music classes is the most short-sighted budget cut a school can make. Studies show that music class helps kids do better in other subjects, develop social skills, and stay in school longer. It might also improve the current dismal state of pop music. We must remember that schools exist for the students, not for the teachers’ unions or the education bureaucracy (so open the schools and stop letting the unions keep them closed.) And we need to keep most decisions about education at the state and local levels, with close parental involvement, so they’re made by people who know the students best.

If you think that doesn’t matter, look at all the home-schooled students winning academic contests. Home is as local as you can get, yet those students are more than ready to compete on the world stage. Don’t you want your kids to be?

Leave a Comment

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.

Your Information
Your Comment
BBML accepted!

More Stories

Why Art and Music Are Essential in Schools

A blank book of pages

Comments 11-20 of 50

  • Veronica Le Gare

    07/08/2022 11:19 AM

    As usual, brilliant observations, dear man! Thank you so much

  • Susan Moncada

    07/08/2022 10:30 AM

    I think you are missing the point. When Pink Floyd states "we don't need no education" they are referring to the indoctrination that is coming from education; something that has been going far longer than most people know.
    Example: my father was a Seaforth Highlander during WWII. In high school, I never read the book, I would take the WWII questions to my father to get the answers. Many times teachers told me my father had no idea what he was talking about even though he was there.

    Pink Floyd is correct - we do not need their education/indoctrination at all.

  • Rebecca Whitney

    07/08/2022 04:54 AM

    100% agree! Schools need to teach basic subjects; English language, math, Real ! History, science.
    Arts are important.
    Stop rewarding students for non performance.
    Use some Tough Love when it comes to discipline. Oust bullies immediately. Bullying is a deadly serious problem!!

    I have friends who homeschool. Their children are amazing, inquisitive, vibrant & highly intelligent.
    The public school system is failing.
    A child's set on course by parenting...
    Teaching a child how to use their brains starts in infancy.

  • Steve Hildreth

    07/08/2022 01:10 AM

    I worked with an apprenticeship program and mentored apprentices. It is mind boggling how many struggled with simple arithmetic let alone high school level math. I saw the same thing with basic English skills. They wrote incomprehensible work reports.
    I saw a complete lack of reasoning skills, even after teaching and coaching them in the field, they could not troubleshoot and fix simple problems.
    The one thing they were good at was testing and multiple choice answers.
    We have two children, both had private school educations from K through 12 grade. Both excell in math and English skills. One achieved a Master's in Civil Engineering, the other graduated Magna cum laud with a PhD in Jurisprudence. Both are highly successful in their chosen fields.
    Their education taught them to think, to reason, and is the root of their success in life.
    Something our public schools no longer teach students.
    We have doomed so many children with the sub par education that is being provided them.

  • Gary Stilwell

    07/08/2022 12:01 AM

    Who gets the "Golden Apple" awards??? the so-called teachers who bring in cookies for the kids--they get to do the voting--ask me how I know this-----

  • gary Stilwell

    07/07/2022 11:56 PM

    If you are indeed a Floyd fan, you certainly know the second line of this song--"we don't need no thought Control" I would argue this IS GOOD advise. This is almost like the Dems taking things out of "context"--surprised you would do such.

  • william p appelt

    07/07/2022 09:07 PM

    Here we are in our 60's (well I am) wondering what is going on with the state of our education. I grew up in a small upstate town during the 60's (graduated 1971) in New York. No complaints, all the Rs, Ps & Qs and whatever is required was offered to help us graduate and advance to the outside world. I let the Navy teach me more instead of going to Vietnam but that's another story. Since I have been in California, I became aware of the inferior learning and it is getting worse. The unions are definitely a part of the decline and now are supercharged politically. The dumping of money into their pockets is the only thing that makes sense for this corruption. Criminal investigations are a must, if someone should dare....
    I cannot believe why we are in such a mess; we have some waking up to do...
    Thanks, Governor, for what you do.
    Sincerely, Bill

  • Anna Boggio

    07/07/2022 08:42 PM

    Public schools have stopped teaching & started indoctrinating instead. If I had a child right now I would homeschool. If I worked days, I would homeschool at night. People need to take this very seriously.

  • Michael wolter

    07/07/2022 07:12 PM

    "We don't need no education," would that not be a double negative as in (we do not need) (no education). Meaning we actually need education in a nonsensical way.

  • Jwalsh

    07/07/2022 06:55 PM

    Silly Mike!! So Neanderthal! Schools aren’t meant to help “the children” only the teacher’s union cabal.