It’s not surprising that a governor who cut out all funding for public art in Kansas would now propose replacing a high school diploma with technical education certificates. The certificate is Governor Sam Brownback’s latest effort to turn our young people into autotrons that can function as workers for local corporations, while leaving them lacking a well rounded education.
The Wichita School System has reduced the number of foreign languages it offers students. Soon Spanish may be the only foreign language available to them by the time Brownback is done with our educational system.
Education has been taking huge cuts. Driver’s education has been eliminated and there has been talk of eliminating everything from sports to music and art classes. Arts and liberal arts don’t seem important to either the Governor or most of the legislators in the Kansas House and Senate.
It’s not surprising that Senator Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita, and Senator Steve Abrams, R-Arkansas City, a former State Board of Education member, both favor this new idea, according to The Wichita Eagle. Abrams is known for opposing the teaching of evolution in science classes. Several area Technical Colleges like the proposal since they will make more money off of it. For Students to learn about the world around them is also a low priority. A high school student can get a diploma with only one semester of geography or world studies. As the world and business become more global, our leaders are still thinking only of local businesses as if the rest of the world is irrelevant. We are fighting wars in Afghanistan, Colombia, and are in conflict in other parts of the world; and yet we spend little time educating our students about all these places.
Brownback wants to give $1,000-per-certificate incentives to high schools. The total he wants to spend is $20.5 million.
Kansas is already a difficult place for any type of artist, photographer, or musician to make a living. Agriculture, manufacturing aircraft and aircraft related businesses are the only thing Kansas politicians seem to think this area is good for.
At the same time the US is becoming more involved with the business and culture in other countries. Our young people are not being prepared for that.
We are a multi-cultural country and yet little attention is paid to educating our young people about their own country and its cultural history.
More and more our education system is nothing more than a factory to create autotrons who are oblivious to the world outside our state and city. Culture, philosophy and politics are not being taught to the extent that we can expect the next generation to understand the system they vote in.
This lack of knowledge will also lock some people into job markets with low pay and few opportunities to move up.