The Problem

What if I told you that there is a way that we can reduce child homelessness almost to the point of depletion, reduce poverty within rising generations, and establish the US and following countries as a key leader in education? For the past four years, I have experienced as well as studied the results and effects of child homelessness, poverty within rising generations, and career path indecisiveness as it pertains to college freshmen. Furthermore, here are some statistics and effect examples of child homelessness, poverty within rising generations, and career path indecisiveness; • The National Center on Family Homelessness states, “One in 45 children experience homelessness in America each year. That’s over 1.6 million children.” On January 9, 2011 Psychology Today stated in a Homeless teen article, “In the United States alone, there are estimates approximately 3.5 million people are homeless and 1.35 million of them are children.” This is over one-third of homeless population. • Dan Glickman, journalist of USnews.com, on May 1, 2013 stated in an opinionated article, “Poverty has become an invisible issue for politicians and press.” He further observes, “Nearly 50 million Americans live below the poverty level and 20 million of them are in extreme poverty (earning less than half the poverty threshold), according to the Census Bureau. Also, based on the study of Duncan, Brooks-Gun, and Klebanov in Economic Deprivation and Early Childhood Development, “Poverty early in life has been linked to behavioral problems and lower IQ scores as early as age 5.” • Even more, nbcnews.com, on November 2005 article reports, “Eighty percent of college-bound students have yet to choose a major, according to Dr.Fritz Grupe, founder of MyMajors.com.” It further implies, “Roughly 40 percent of those who start a four-year degree program still have not earned one after six years.” However, New York Times discovered a trend within indecisive college students for a cure all to their lack of inexperience; exploratory majors. Cecilia Capuzzi Simon, Journalist of New York Times writes, “Some students go to college knowing exactly what they want to do. But most don’t. At Penn State, 80 percent of freshmen--- even those who have declared a major--- say they are uncertain about their major, and half will change their minds after they declare, sometimes more than once.” Hence the reason for “Exploratory”, or as Simon refers to it “the new declared” which sometimes results to students “graduating with a double (or triple) major, minor or concentration as a way to hedge bets in an uncertain job market has become increasingly popular; the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded with double majors rose 70 percent between 2001 and 2011, according to the Education Department.” However, the result of double majors still has US Colleges and Universities at a “dismally low college completion rate” journalist Kayla Webley stated on January 31, 2013 in US Times Periodical. She further expresses, “just 58% of students who enroll in bachelor’s degree programs at four year institutions graduate within six years and only 30% of students who enroll in certificate or associates degree programs at two-year institutions complete their degree within three years.” Overall, the evidence clearly shows that our youth are on a cycle to repetitive destruction and minimal development if we do not reform our point of attack to the war on poverty and education.

Plan of Action

I would like to attend schools across the nation and provide them with Radkl Ed, an education reform workshop that uses the science of psychology and the art of business to help student learn better and grow ultimately prepared by the point of graduation from high school for life's encounters. As you read further, I include an excerpt from my analysis in solutions to reforming education. It reads; As adults we often discuss our glory days or our periods of regrets. What we wish we would have known before graduating from high school? The opportunities we would have taken advantage of in our youth so we could be better adults. However, our preceding generation although are growing innovatively are still learning through trial and errors we experienced as adolescents. The key to being leaders in education for the US starts with psychological reformation within high school students. An example of an act of reform was through Alfred Binet, a Frenchman working in Paris in the early twentieth century, designed this test to identify children who were not profiting from the Paris public schools, so that new educational programs could be designed to get them back on track. Without denying individual difference in children’s intellects, he believed that education and practice could bring about fundamental changes in intelligence. Here is a quote from one of his major books, Modern Ideas about Children, in which he summarizes his work with hundreds of children with learning difficulties: “A few modern philosophers... assert that an individual’s intellect is a fixed quantity, a quantity which cannot be increased. We must protest and react against this brutal pessimism… with practice, training, and above all, method, we manage to increase our attention, our memory, our judgment and literally to become more intelligent than before.” Furthermore, this is also the mission of our government which is working to reform our education system also. President Obama states, “If we want America to lead in the 21st Century, nothing is more important than giving everyone the best education possible--- from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career.” The White House’s stated mission for education is “to prepare Americans for the jobs of the future and help restore middle class security, we have to out-educate the world and that starts with a strong school system”. Even more, our government is taking current acts of initiative to move our education system progressively within the right direction. This is being done through the offering of incentives to states that are willing to offer systemic reform to improving teaching and learning within schools, Redesigning and Reforming No Child Left Behind, and Modernizing America’s Schools; however, we need a bit more. The University of Michigan posted an opinionated article comparing U.S. and Chinese Public school systems; and within this article there lies a truth of the Chinese that is more insightful than others. The article states, “Chinese do not segregate high achieving students from lower achieving students through tracking levels, like the US. This is mostly due to the belief that all students can succeed if they put in the effort.” The decline of our education system is a result of the judgments of our own psychological formatting. We are automatically trained with the formatting of superiors and subordinates. This wayward thinking has stunted the mental growth of our youth which has resulted in child homelessness, poverty increase in rising generations, and lack of career path decisiveness. Proof of this case is shown in Dr. Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Here’s an excerpt from her experience. She writes; “Benjamin Barber, an eminent sociologist, once said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures.... I divide the world into the learners and nonlearners.” What on earth would make someone a nonlearner? Everyone is born with an intense drive to learn. Infants stretch their skills daily. Not just ordinary skills, but the most difficult tasks of a lifetime, like learning to walk and talk. They never decide it’s too hard or not worth the effort. Babies don’t worry about making mistakes or humiliating themselves. They walk, they fall, they get up. They just barge forward. What could put an end to this exuberant learning? The fixed mindset. As soon as children become able to evaluate themselves, some of them become afraid of challenges. They become afraid of not being smart. I have studied thousands of people from preschoolers on, and it’s breathtaking how many reject an opportunity to learn. We offered four-year-olds a choice: They could redo an easy jigsaw puzzle or they could try a harder one. Even at this tender age, children with the fixed mindset---the ones who believed in fixed traits---stuck with the safe one. Kids who are born smart “don’t do mistakes,” they told us. …..So children with the fixed mindset want to make sure they succeed. Smart people should always succeed.” This is just an example of the enclosed mindsets our youth has developed over a period of their growing environmental influences. But, although our education system may appear to look vivid and bleak, it is not totally lost. We have two disciplines we can use as tools to continue to grow and expound the mindsets of our youth. They are psychology and business. With the combination of the human mind and basic organizational method of operation, we are able to create “shelf-ready employees and business owners”. We have tried the alternatives, and everybody desires to improve. We thrive off the desire to accomplish goals and improve personal circumstances. We live for life’s luxuries. We want to be encouraged, but we’re lazy. We want to be spoon-fed information. However, the effect of our laziness has declined our governmental system resulting in the raising of taxes, increase in government spending, and demising the US Dollar value. We’ve also created a generation of fickle youth. Establishing the US as a leader in education is simple, we need to create a mandatory curriculum for life advancement in high schools. Until the curriculum is mandatory, I would like to at least begin by exposing its benefits.

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