Ray's Readings: More money not always answer to education problems
July 01. 2014 2:30PM
“Schools should not get in the way of education.” - Mark Twain
As I listen to the radio, watch the news, and read the paper, I am in a state of wonder as to the direction that our government and educational leaders have in mind for our students. Every time something comes over the news, it is a change that someone would like to make. Is it a personal agenda?
Is it to see his or her name in print? I find it difficult to believe that everything that parents, students and teachers do is bad and that all problems can be healed with more money.
All this activity brings to mind a story called “The Animal School,” written by George H. Reavis.
Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of “a new world.” So they organized a school.
The duck was excellent in swimming, in fact better than his instructor. But he made only passing in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running.
This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming . But average was acceptable in school, so nobody worried about that except the duck.
The rabbit started at the top of the class in running, but had a nervous breakdown because of so much make-up work in swimming.
The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the treetop down. He also developed a “Charlie horse” from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and a D in running.
The eagle was a problem child and was discipline severely. In the climbing class he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way to get there.
At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceedingly well and also run, climb and fly a little, had the highest average and was valedictorian.
The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a private school.
Does this fable not strike a comparison to some of the educational plans that have been given to education in the last few years? I believe that Mr. Twain’s statement has merit.