Friday, December 5, 2008

Economic Recession: Human Capital vs. Financial Capital

Robert Reich, UC Berkeley Professor of Policy and former Secretary of Labor, read a great piece he authored yesterday on NPR. Read it on his blog under December 3.

In summary, he said that while the government is working to back up our country’s financial capital, our human capital is being neglected. The federal government is ensuring that financial institutions, banks, and car companies are being funded, but where is the bailout for schools, which as a whole are losing money? Teachers are being laid off, after school programs cancelled, class sizes increased, “non-essential” classes cut, and college tuition fees raised.

I whole-heartedly agree with Reich. Currently, I am on my lunch break from substitute teaching at Escondido High School. In the first class I taught, out of 33 students, 11 turned in their homework, and out of those 11, only 4 had it completed. It caused me to wonder, based on Reich’s words: Are our youth failing in school or is our school system failing our youth? Should a group of 16 year olds be expected to care about education when the government time and time again has failed to see it as a high priority?

The government speaks of these financial bailouts as if time is of the essence. So too should it be with our schools. The negative ramifications of a poor education are not easily reversed. Money isn’t everything, but as a former teacher, I can say that it does help a lot. In these increasingly challenging times, there is hope for our world, but it lies within our children, not within the banks.

No comments:

Post a Comment