The School System Fails…Again?


About a week ago, I sat in studio and listened to a talk show host go on a rant about the public school system, over the airwaves. This is a conversation I am all too familiar with. The rights and wrongs within the public school system is a conversation that spans generation after generation. No matter what race, creed or class you represent, I’m sure you’ve heard one of these topics at a given time:

  • Prayer should be put back in schools.
  • Schools do a piss poor job of updating their textbooks.
  • Black (ethnic) literature is not properly showcased in class.
  • Where are the art and music programs?

Well damn, who left the flood gates open?

In watching a TED Talks lecture, the newest of dialogues I’ve heard was “schools kill creativity. They need to put as much emphasis on the artistic/creative subjects as they do English and math.”

Wait. What exactly are the public school systems responsible for? What are the parents responsible for?

I’m actually pretty disturbed that parents expect schools to pray with and teach each child about his/her cultural background. Parents, what the hell is your job exactly? I remember the phrase “learning starts at home.” Can anyone guess where I learned said phrase? From my Dad…in our home.

Let’s take it back to my day (wait for it). My parents saw my love for art in grade school, so they always bought me:easels, colored pencils, paints and books to encourage me. They saw my interest in music so I played the: drums, keyboard and trumpet to see what I would like. I still remember all of my art and music teachers because they always inspired me. They always took time with me because I was excited and they gave a damn about their students. Yes, my childhood was awesome.

To a degree, I agree with Ken Robinson (TED) that schools can hinder creativity. I think the most important aspect is that parents worldwide should take more time with their children. If you feel that the institutions of learning aren’t cultivating your child as an individual, it may be time to challenge the system. Teach your young leaders in the home, in addition to what they learn at school. Fair enough?

Yes, textbooks should be up to date. Yes, schools should nurture the creativity of students.  What role can we play, however, to ensure that artistry is encouraged in our children? Parents, stop relying on other people to mold the futures of your children.

Check out the TED talk that sparked the conversation