Blogs > Frye on the News

Keeping his eye on the news and offering commentaries and insights on what is happening in Oakland County, around the world, on the tube and in the news.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Uh oh, are we doomed to get dumber in Michigan?

Yes, the budget it short and the economy stinks, but we are in trouble if we sacrifice learning in Michigan.

I read an interesting piece last year, I believe in Time magazine, about the importance of giving value to smart children, the over-achievers. They will be the ones who invent new technologies, develop new practices, find new cures or vaccines. They will be the leaders who help keep America the number country in the world.

Except, we don't value them. We've emphasized including everyone of making sure the dumbest people can do the basic things. We have larger classes. We slow down the learning to make sure everyone can pass the same simple test.

And it will only get worse in Michigan, where education is not valued, it seems.

The Trenton Patch reports today that Trenton schools are considering doing away with the AP, advanced placement, courses due to budget cuts. So the smart students you do have get less education. AP courses are one of the significant benefits of a good school system, as if you have a strong elementary and middle school years, you can let high school cover some of the basics of college, giving an opportunity to jump ahead in the first years at university.

Ouch. Not something you'd want to cut.

In Troy, they want to close the library to save money, knowing that the public safety unions will ensure that is the last area cut. No one working in city hall really wants to cut the perks of city hall, so the library is first to go. I understand cuts have to be made, but it would be better if they were spread out equally, not targeting a single entity.

Meanwhile, the state's leadership has targeted education again, and again learning will suffer.

Again, I know cuts need to be made, but education is an investment in a society's future. There's little point to staffing and filling prisons to keep us safe if we're only going to need more prisons because there's less chance for the state's economy to improve. We've already suffered a brain drain, and we're not teaching our children as well, it will only get worse.

Oh well, at least we have casinos.

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