Resolve not to be poor; whatever you have, spend less. Poverty is a great enemy to human happiness; it certainly destroys liberty, and it makes some virtues impracticable and extremely difficult.
Over the weekend, President Obama pitched his would-be jobs program under the guise of educational urgency, noting the loss of 300,000 school teachers as the reason America is slipping in the realm of education. While I'm all for a lot of great teachers teaching our children, I think there are issues that are actually more acutely responsible for the decline in America's educational prowess. Statistics used to prove the more teachers the greater the results are sketchy, and it's more of a touchy-feely kind of thing that sounds good, but in reality there are more important components. I think we are missing out on hitting that hot button that makes kids want to learn.
Moreover, for our economically disadvantaged students, we have given them so many excuses for failure that by the time they get out of the gate many expect to be subpar. This is why the direction of the country is problematic. People that make the least amount of effort are demanding to get a greater share of the end results. The so-called income inequality gap is being used to bludgeon the wallets and pride of achievers while excusing those that aren't living up to their own individual potential. Throwing money at problems alone never solves major issues. It hasn't solved poverty or education in the United States, but has helped to create another problem (debt) that has to be dealt with sooner rather than later.
Apparently, the best student to teacher ratio of 15.3 was achieved in 2008, and now at 16.0 (2010), we are back to 2000 levels. The thing is, educationally we ranked significantly higher in the world using the PISA test of kids 15 years old in three key areas of education.