When it comes to the monumental task of training another generation of manufacturing employees, armed with the high-tech skills that the technology-heavy processes of the future will require, it’s easy to come down hard on the educational system. There are some basic tropes: guidance counselors push all students toward an undergraduate degree; shop classes are being shuttered; educators aren’t as focused or driven as they used to be, or that they’re over/underpaid, depending on who’s talking; the current system only seeks to help students achieve on standardized tests. There are more, but the point is that many people believe there are fundamental problems with America’s current educational system.
And they’re right. There are problems — no point in arguing otherwise. But I think educators often get unfairly blamed as the catalyst for the problems our educational system is currently dealing with. In my opinion, good educators are just about the only positive the system has left. And yes, there are bad educators, just like there are bad maintenance technicians or bad managers, but that shouldn’t detract from those who care and who work hard despite the poor infrastructure to help students get the education they need.