Monday, January 18, 2016

Long ago, in a galaxy far way...

Once-upon-a-time I was the editor of my high school newspaper.
In this capacity I was tasked with interviewing the principal of the local Vo-Tech high school.
His name, as I recall it, was Joe Lempke. (This may be mis-remembered.)
Before I could ask him a question he volunteered:
"People want to talk to me about Vo-Tech education. I want to talk about EDUCATION."
The CAPS in that quotation reflect his tone of voice.

His point was simple: EDUCATION is about citizenship - "producing" students who are self-supporting and making a contribution to society.

Somehow we have lost our way.
STEM is great - "Science, Technology, Engineering, Math"... BUT - there's more to life than STEM.

Every day I use fonts that were DESIGNED by someone with artistic talent.
My furniture was DESIGNED by someone with artistic talent.
I frequently attend concerts by amazingly gifted musicians.
I attend plays presented by talented actors, and directed by folks with artistic vision.

None of these contributions to society is recognized by STEM.

Don't get me wrong - I made my living as a statistician.
I really like math, and think everyone ought to appreciate its beauty.

There's a whole helluva lot more to life than science, technology, engineering, and math.
In fact, without all the non-STEM stuff, life would be pretty horrible - no art, no music, no design... no beauty.

Testing the hell out of our kids is NOT the way to improve our nation.
Encouraging individual gifts, encouraging the pursuit of beauty, ...

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