Education is like patriotism… Everyone knows what it is, but you can’t put two people in the same room and get them to agree on the same answer……

Imagine if on this great Memorial Day here on the East Coast, probably the one we’ll remember as the best Memorial Day of this decade,  we had to meet certain goals, or steps to prove we were sufficiently patriotic?….  Imagine if we had to follow all the steps required so that our jobs would not be in jeopardy, the first time our rivals whispered to our bosses….. “Do you think he is …. patriotic enough?”

How would you measure that?

  • Did you sing the Star Spangled Banner three times today?  And is that enough?  Why not 4, or 5?  Are you sufficiently patriotic because you stopped at 5?  Little Johnny over here sings it six times… He is deserving of the promotion; not you.
  • Did you say the pledge of allegiance today?  How many times… 
  • How many times did you salute the flag today… it’s memorial day… i am willing to bet that especially if you visited the Veterans Cemetery where the Boy Scouts dutifully put out a flag on every grave, you missed several salutes…  How can you be patriotic if you miss saluting a flag?  Even one?
  • Are you wearing a flag pin? What you are not?  You heathen. You savage.  You are totally unpatriotic….
  • What?  You are going to a friends BBQ today?  And not staying home to read the Constitution?  You traitor…..

Face it…. you are not patriotic enough to be an American… Go to Somalia!

Or let us take religion…..

  • Did you go to church today?  It’s Monday… Why weren’t you in church today?
  • Did you read the Bible… Its a holiday… You certainly have the time…
  • Did you say your prayers?  How long did you pray…. The day is not over.  You should still be praying…
  • Did you try to convert your neighbors today?  You didn’t?  You’ve given up?  Well how about if God gave up on you?
  • What, you had fun?  How on earth can you be conisdered sufficiently religious when you put having fun over studying the BIble?

Face it…. you are not religious enough to be an American…. Go to Somalia!

Education like Patriotism, like Religion is an unmeasurable entity….  One can take assessments, but one can never know the depth of what lies inside….  

  • Oh, he’s religious.  He goes to church at least once a month..
  • Oh, he’s patriotic.. I’ve seen him put his hand over his heart at the Blue Rocks’ games.
  • Oh, little Johnny’s educated…  He got 3’s on his DCAS this year…..

But none of those would apply to the extreme standards mentioned above….  Because there is no way to tell… There is no way to measure… 

How can we possibly tell that a child became enamored with how genetic DNA replicates and spent 5 extra hours a week surfing Wikipedia, doing his own research, when we fail him for not know a certain subclass of a certain phyla of a certain kingdom, when it was asked on a standardized test?

How can we possibly tell if a child became enthralled over WWII studying all its weapons, battle plans, strategy on his own, … when we mark him wrong because he couldn’t remember who Roosevelt had as his vice president during his 3rd term?

Where is the line?  How can you measure something as ethereal as air?

The answer is:  the same way you always have…. You let someone else, who knows the person being evaluated, determine over a long course of time, if they feel a child is or is not ready to be promoted onto the next grade….  Essentially they ask…. Will this person do ok next year?  If the answer is Yes, pass them.  If no, don’t.

  • Which is why, we let pastors and priests determine on an individual basis who is or who isn’t religious.
  • Which is why, we let citizens and neighbors determine on an individual basis who is or who isn’t patriotic.
  • Which is why, we need to let teachers and administrators determine on an individual basis, who is or who isn’t learning…. 

So, what are you going to do about it?