A Latin phrase, scientia potentia est, whose translation “Knowledge is power” is attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, English author, courtier and philosopher. When I think about this phrase, it reminds me of the 5th verse in Proverbs 24: A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. (KJV).
As I listened to a recent speech given in Winston Salem, North Carolina by President Barack Obama, he echoed some tough facts about the United States’ educational standing and its impact on economic growth. He warned of a future where the United States of America could lag behind other nations. He told his audience of teachers and students that it was time for an American “Sputnik moment” – referring to the 1957 Soviet satellite launch, that jolted the United States into starting its own space and science programs. “Right now the hard truth is this,” President Obama said, “In the race for the future, America is in danger of falling behind. That’s just the truth. And if you hear a politician say it’s not, they’re just not paying attention.”
There continues to be much discussion among school boards around the country, where school districts are making painstaking budget cuts that are seriously affecting our educational objectives. Should we just throw in the towel and call it a day as a result of these cuts? Is this the end of a good education? Absolutely Not! This is where parents and guardians must become “more” proactive about what they can do to increase their children’s opportunity to learn. Education goes beyond the boundaries of the classroom walls. There are so many things parents and guardians can do to make sure their children are performing with excellence. In order to ensure that our children succeed educationally, it behooves us to be accountable for supplementing their education with increased tools of learning, in spite of any budget cuts regarding the classroom.
Below is a link to an article that I hope rattles your spirit if you are not proactive in the voice of your children’s academics: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/11/19/US-slipping-in-education-rankings/UPI-90221227104776/. Are daily unproductive habits or other distracting routines causing our children to sit on the sidelines of educational complacency? We cannot settle for “whatever” and not be in partnership with the school system. Our children have to be supplemented with increased tools of learning, in and beyond the classroom. Their lives and future is at stake if the winds of change blows their way and they are not prepared to interact with diversity circulating throughout many aspects of their lives.
We already know that the United States ranks dangerously low, but there is so much that we can do right this minute. Be sure to read this story as well, released by OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), Education: Korea and Finland top OECD’s latest PISA survey of education performance http://www.oecd.org/document/12/0,3343,en_2649_201185_46623628_1_1_1_1,00.html.
“Human knowledge and human power meet in one; for where the cause is not known the effect cannot be produced. Nature to be commanded must be obeyed; and that which in contemplation is as the cause is in operation as the rule.” – Sir Francis Bacon