The English word education comes from a Latin verb meaning “to lead out of.”
The idea behind the word is that in receiving an education, an individual is being led out of a brutish condition of ignorance into the world of knowledge and thought that distinguishes human beings from the other animals.
An “educated” person is one who can think and make choices based on reason and observable facts.
American culture has come so far from this meaning that most people seem to think of education as a process that stuffs something into its recipients, primarily information and skills that will enable them to earn a living.
Parents who want to raise educated children must first decide on their own definition of education.
Next, they must monitor and supplement their children’s schoolwork to ensure that the children receive as complete an education possible during the time they spend in grades K-12.
The US public school system is a marvelous institution. I disagree entirely with corporate efforts to siphon off school funds for private profit.
On the other hand, I do not buy into the hype that any school that must serve our diverse population can be everything to everyone. No public school can educate every child to the child’s “fullest potential.” Only the parent or other interested adult can ensure that worthy goal by working with the school to meet the child’s specific educational needs.
You can read my views about teacher training, school reform, and the Common Core standards here and in my posts for this site.