Will Bryant be weak on education?

Published 12:00 pm Tuesday, January 26, 2016

By Malachi Baggett

Tonight, Gov. Phil Bryant will be giving his State of the State address. 

Democrats dislike Bryant, mainly for his stances on homosexual marriage and education. He will likely frustrate some tonight when he addresses education.

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Republicans and Democrats alike do not appreciate the lack of funding put into education in the state, but this goes back to a time before Bryant was governor. Any time that there has needed to be budget cuts, education has been cut. This is due to the fact that the system and rules for cutting the budget do not allow you to cut from one area without cutting from others. 

For example, if you were cutting your household budget, you would not be able to cut more than $20 out of your clothing budget without having to cut $15 from your food budget. 

I respect a politician who tries to work within a budget, even if that means making hard cuts. However, the school system in place is broken, and if Gov. Bryant threw $1 billion into its budget this year, it would still be broken. Sure, all the first-graders would get new MacBooks, but new technology does not fix a weak system. 

Education is weak in Mississippi because it is weak all over the country. Well-meant policies like No Child Left Behind have left the majority of children behind. Common Core math is too confusing. Instead of teaching what kids should know, they are simply shuffled through and taught how to answer questions on a test.

The biggest heartbreak in all of this is that in the midst of it all, children are no longer taught to think for themselves. Kids are taught something and told that this is right and every other way is wrong, resulting in college kids who constantly get their feelings hurt and have taken political correctness to a level that makes it impossible to have conversations about important issues.

I even see it in college. Instead of reading the authors who came up with the original ideas, we read a summary in a textbook, and the textbook tells us if it is right or not.

There is not enough information to know one way or another in order to question the validity of the argument, so many students leave with the author of the textbook’s opinion as their own. But for most students that is OK, because that is what they have been doing since kindergarten.

Malachi Baggett is a senior political science major at the University of Mississippi. Contact him at jmbagget@go.olemiss.edu.