Wednesday, July 23, 2008

HUCKPAC'S VERTICAL DAY - Another Idea About Education Reform

So far more than any issue Education has been on the minds of the guest bloggers.  The third idea shared by a Huckabee supporter is also about this important topic:  

First, I think we must all be clear that the purpose of educating our children is to is to prepare them to be good citizens. They should know our history, our english language and our values. They should be proud of their country, for while we are not perfect we have undeniably achieved a level of freedom and justice which every day leads thousands of people to want to come here. They should understand the value of service and of sacrifice as exemplified by so many persons in our history, from the founders of the republic all the way up to people like Dr. Martin Luthor King. They should know that faith has always been a part of American life though we will never force belief on anyone because freedom of belief is part of what makes us great. They should know it is each American's privilege and responsibility to become the best person they can be, fully developing each and every talent endowed to them. 

Having achieved this clarity, we must find ways to share our educational resources, allowing creative new interfacing between traditional schools and home schools. American families seeking to conscientiously teach their children at home should have access to school facilities and staff. In the same way, the public schools would benefit from the energy of home schoolers. Given the technology available, it might be possible to create an entirely new model of American school. We should also frankly assess the financial value of home schooling and consider providing compensation to families in lieu of the money they would have cost the public school system. In exchange, the home school parents might be tapped as resources, guides, leaders for various aspects of the public schools, giving public school kids some of the role models they so desperately need. 

In the new model, education would be seen not as focusing on buildings, school or home, but as a network and the community should be involved, too. Why not utilize local business as a support? Why not incorporate lessons in conservation, nature, citizenship out of direct engagement with the people working right around us? Why not have kids help at nursing homes and parks? Why not help keep cities clean? Let them see that they are needed, no matter how young to save this beautiful country.
I believe that our educational system is so badly in need of hope, just as Governor Huckabee has said. We need to teach each child to believe in him or herself and to find their place in American society and in the world as a whole. We must teach them to respect their elders even as they dare to move into a world none of us will see. They must be prepared to deal with technology and science but not to lose their soul to it. They must find the artist in themselves, they must be given the chance to be physically strong and healthy for their own sake and for those they serve. They must learn that what makes an American is quiet faith and generosity, the ultimate courage to pursue our own happiness ever wary that all that we have and are may need to be laid down in service.

Rev. Gregory Limongi
Hospice Spiritual Director
Altamonte Springs, Florida

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