Saturday, July 04, 2009

Education for the 21st Century

When I first ran for the local school board in 2006 my slogan was to, "prepare our children for future beyond our imagination." By March 2008 the investment bank Bear Stearns had collapsed. By April 2008 there was food rationing at Costco. I could not imagine that happening in America so quickly, but these were the kind of events I was worried about.

What is an education for the 21st century? It is an education to steer through difficult times.

Our technological education has been fine. We can design computer chips and networks. We can put men on the moon if we wish, so our children do not need more math and science.

The education for our leaders must be deficient because most of our problems are created by Washington. (The banking collapse was caused by lax regulation from Washington and by passing the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.) I saw a Congressman on C-Span say he had to do as he was told by Hank Paulson, the Secretary of the Treasury, because he did not understand economics and therefore had to trust Paulson. Obviously, our leaders should have studied economics.

Perhaps if our leaders had studied the lessons of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides we would not stuck in the Middle East.

Did America's founding fathers have computers? No, they had books instead of computers and they still set the standard for wise leadership. Our founding fathers studied history and economics. Alexander Hamilton wrote a report on manufacturing! We can restore America's leadership to greatness by injecting more history and economics into their education.

Good leadership is vital if we are to defeat the dangers facing America, so an eduction for the 21st century should focus on history, economics, and finance.