I'm Worried About The Next Generation
In the vast landscape of societal concerns, few issues are as universally important as the state of our education system.
The education system serves as the bedrock for shaping the minds that will lead our communities, drive our economies, and navigate the growing complexities of the future.
All too often, I encounter the sentiment that once a person's children have grown or have graduated, they no longer see the relevance in advocating for a better system.
This shortsighted view overlooks the profound impact education has on society and, consequently, on every individual.
Consider that, equally as often, I hear that people are worried about the future.
Concern for one should necessitate interest in the other.
The reality is that the next generation, the product of our education system, will be the ones assuming leadership roles in our communities, businesses, and governments.
In just a few short decades those currently navigating K-12 classrooms will be navigating boardrooms, foreign policy, finance, and life in general.
What kind of education do we want those shaping our future - and building their own families - to have?
Do we want a system that rewards minimal effort, assumes all children learn in exactly the same way, places the utmost importance on one’s identifying characteristics, and indoctrinates them with the values teachers’ colleges and teachers’ unions have decided they should have?
If we don’t act quickly, that’s precisely the type of system children might be subjected to.
And that should concern you a great deal, regardless of your current parental situation.
As someone without children, I still want the best for the next generation.
But I’m worried.
I’m worried that our current education system has strayed too far from actual education.
I’m worried that our current education system serves the adults who work in it, not the children being taught.
I’m worried that children are being exposed to age-inappropriate concepts.
I’m worried that we are setting the next generation up for failure.
I want them to be able to read, write, and communicate with ease and eloquence, to critically assess what they see on the news, and to be competent and employable people who can provide for themselves.
Despite not having children, I’m still a passionate advocate for the best possible education for our future innovators, leaders, workers, mothers, and fathers.
Because if we neglect education now, we are jeopardizing the very foundation upon which our society will stand in the years to come.
The ideals of free inquiry, open debate, and critical thinking are the cornerstones of a vibrant and democratic society.
If we want a future where these principles thrive, we need to take an active interest in the system that fosters them.
And the best way for me to direct my advocacy is by supporting parents in their quest to be recognized as the experts in their own children.
After all, parents are the experts in their own children.
They are uniquely positioned to understand their child's needs, strengths, and learning styles - and a choice-rich education system is necessary to empower them.
But, the responsibility for building that choice-rich education system extends to the entire community, embodying the proverbial village it takes to raise a child.
Every one of us can play a role in ensuring that the next generation is equipped to tackle the challenges of an ever-changing world.
This giving season, whether you currently have kids attending school or not, I encourage you to contribute to an organization that is well-positioned to make a real difference in education.
The Alberta Parents’ Union has been a champion of parental rights, and has been relentless in their drive to foster a system that values diverse approaches to learning.
They are building a coalition of not only parents, but grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends, and concerned citizens.
They are a non-partisan organization that listens to the concerns of parents, formulates policy ideas, and then fights to get those ideas implemented.
They are a small team, with big plans for the future.
This time of year is crucial to the success of organizations like the Alberta Parents’ Union.
Unlike teachers’ unions who have large war chests at the ready, the APU relies on voluntary donations from people like you.
They don’t take a dime of government funding, and they never will.
So, if you are in a position to help, will you please contribute $10, $25, or even $100 today towards their efforts?
Our commitment to education reflects our commitment to the future.
The dollars you donate are an investment into a society where the values of knowledge, critical thinking, and open-mindedness prevail.
Even for those of us without parenthood in our plans, ignoring the needs of the next generation is not an option if we want a better tomorrow.
Let’s show the team at APU that we’re behind them!
P.S. To provide the Alberta Parents’ Union with even more financial stability, and to show your ongoing support, please consider joining as a member. For just $10 a month, you can add your voice to the growing chorus of people fighting for a better system!