Investing in our young people is the most important thing we can do (Scheuerman, 2014). The introduction and discussion of Horace Mann’s contributions to the foundations of our educational system brought out that key theme of investment in our youth: an investment that has many challenges and even greater rewards. These challenges vary from funding to cultural and religious differences. Despite the challenges, the possibility of a country full of intelligent, competent and well-rounded civically and morally engaged citizenry makes the challenges worth taking on. Granted, there are risks and politicians aren’t going to be popular if they campaign the way Mann once did for the educational system, but isn’t taking risks what allows for growth? Culturally, Americans aren’t allowing their children to make mistakes and fail. Part of that is due to the pressure put on our youth to compete and succeed and be individually better than their neighbor. There needs to be a balance and a safe environment at school and at home for students to take risks and learn and grow from their failure.
The responsibility of educating and investing in our young people belongs not only to the schools, but the family and the larger tax paying society. There aren’t many things people receive for free in this world and the fact that free public education is offered to all children in our country is one of the most powerful rights given. But the word free doesn’t mean it can be perfect without the support of the various stakeholders being willing to make decisions that support the equal and quality education of all children despite their differences. Investing in the education and support of our youth is the greatest responsibility of our nation at every level and if it isn’t taken seriously, this country will have many more problems to face.
Scheuerman, R. (2014, Autumn Quarter). EDU 6120 Foundations of American Education. Session 7 Practical and Universal Education Lecture notes retrieved from Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA.