March 25, 2013

Letter: STEM of education past

Many readers will recall the World Book Encyclopedia salesmen, later to be replaced by Encyclopedia Britannica. Parents with young children were fair game for the salesmen. Everyone wanted their children to be well educated and those books would do the trick.

The bookcase arrived and was filled to the walls with shiny new books with gold embossed letters, covered with imitation leather. The entire setup was very attractive. It would have been more appreciated had someone in the family been willing to open a few of the books just to look at the pictures if nothing else. Maybe some influence of those idealistic stories from salesmen and fantasies of young parents would have placed the United States of America above the level of 17th in the world in education.

Now we come to the new trends for exciting parents with the prospects of that wished-for miracle. Their children will somehow acquire that gold embossed certificate called a college degree via STEM. We have a new super ideal to propel the United States into the next century just like Encyclopedia Britannica did in the ‘60s; it’s being called STEM.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are the academic areas where we, as a nation, are sorely lacking. Just like World Book and Britannica, the promise of creating a super-educated family within the society misses the mark by several grade levels. Just like the days when books gathered dust on shelves seldom visited, student minds have been allowed to gather dust from lack of stimulation and drive.

College and university professors complain that many of their students must undergo remedial instruction before they are ready for college work. The late 20th century and now into the next, the student academic levels have stagnated or dropped from k through 12 with a mere few rises in the first three grades of elementary school.

Locally, the high school graduation rate is shameful for any industrial nation, state or community in the world. But still, we in the U.S. have the highest dollar investment in education of any industrial nation in the world.

Somehow the powers that drive the idealistic train are not overcoming the lack of spirit needed to move the load. Unless or until the fantasy world collapses and reality catches on, there is no amount of academic elitism that will overcome the STEM of academic laziness.


Lawrence Headrick

Tunnel Hill  

Text Only
  • Mark Millican: The birds hushed their singing

    For the uninitiated, that line is from what many consider the greatest rock song of all time, “Stairway to Heaven,” by Led Zeppelin.

    April 15, 2014

  • Misty Watson: When blood sugar drops, anger rises

    It wouldn’t have taken 107 married couples and 21 days to figure out that being hungry makes people angry.

    April 15, 2014

  • Working for the man

    You may be one of the many Americans who will rush to file their income taxes today. But you may not yet have earned enough money to pay all of the taxes that will be imposed on you this year.

    April 15, 2014

  • Letter: The glib tongue, the fake smile

    A recent Daily Citizen column by Walter Williams will both awaken and frighten any thinking person who claims even a smidgen of knowledge about — or belief in —  either the Bible, world history or current events.

    April 15, 2014

  • College soccer team would bring local talent together

    Dreams of combining the best soccer players from all local high schools into one team finally could come true.

    April 13, 2014

  • Letter: Primaries feature many choices

    Many people are confused this year about the May 20 Election Day. Unfortunately, very few voters in Whitfield County actually go to the polls for a primary election. But this means any increase in participation can have a significant impact.

    April 12, 2014

  • Letter: Hooper for Murray chief magistrate

    Thanks to all the wonderful people and friends who backed me for District 1 Murray County Board of Education. You sure showed a lot of support. Sorry I had to step down due to my and my wife’s health. I am a lot better now.

    April 12, 2014

  • Judicial dispute could have been avoided

    Judicial elections in Whitfield and Murray counties tend to be low key. In fact, we can’t recall the last time an incumbent judge on the Conasauga Superior Court, which cover the two counties, has even faced a challenger.

    April 12, 2014

  • Citizen of the Week: Jonathan Rose

    Running for exercise is a popular hobby among many local residents, but at least one racing enthusiast plans to take his fun a step further today.

    April 11, 2014

  • Community champions make world a better place

    We sometimes think a good community is one with attractive buildings, well-kept homes and beautiful parks. But buildings, homes and parks, no matter how attractive, don’t make a community. People do.

    April 10, 2014