Education may be defined as a life long
process of learning the knowledge and skills
required to make a living, to lead a satisfying
life, to be a responsible, productive member
of society and an informed participant in the
constitutional form of government which we
have inherited from the Founders of our nation.
This definition fits our particular
The definition of education for a bushman
in the Kalihari Desert would be different
with more emphasis on learning survival
skills and staying alive.
Come to think of it, learning survival skills
applies to us as well.
To become educated, one must want to
learn, make the effort to learn and apply
what is learned to one's life.
The Albany school graduation rate is
somewhere between 49 and 51 percent
depending on what sources one relies
Albany spends more per "student" while
having the lowest graduation rate of any
school district in the Capital District.
Perhaps, school property taxes should
be indexed to student performance and
A fifty percent decrease in school property
taxes would delight Albany City homeowners.
The State Education Commissioner has
warned that poor performing schools will
This is not the answer.
The problem rests squarely with the
"students" and their parent(s) who do not
value learning and with an education
curriculum that fails to prepare them to
be responsible, productive members of
The social services system and related
government programs, like Section 8
housing ,enable and encourage these
Graduation and diplomas have become
meaningless. Endless testing and
proccupation with test scores is an
exercise in futility.
For learning to take place requires
motivation, effort and application of
that which is learned, by the learner.
Permissiveness and lack of discipline
in dysfunctional families and in schools
and colleges yield predictable results.
Consider the behavior of college
An educated person can be identified
by his/her behavior - not by how many
years of schooling or how many diplomas
Personal responsibility for one's behavior
is an attribute associated with being
Schools must offer a safe environment
for learners who are motivated to learn.
Those who are not motivated and
disciplined learners must be culled out
and placed in alternative settings where
they can learn knowledge, skills, attitudes
and behaviors that will enable them to
become responsible productive citizens.
Give them limited classroom sessions
with more vocational -life skill training
including performing public service
cleaning and rebuilding blighted
neighborhoods, maintaining parks
roads, bridges and railroads, working
in hospitals or providing home health
care for seniors.
After a full day of learning and
contributing these learners will hit the
rack early rather than prowling the streets
becoming gangbangers, drug dealers
druggies, thieves, and violent anti-social
malcontents who wind up incarcerated
in prisons., or unwed teens who become
lifers in the government social services
A burgeoning dependent population that
takes from, but contributes nothing to
society, can not be sustained in the hard
economic times that have befallen our
cities, towns, counties, states and nation.
Homeowners, small businesses, farmers
can not be expected to pay ever increasing
property taxes to fund a failing education
New York State Legislators and the Governor
must enact real property tax relief now, and
revise the state educational curriculum
requirements to allow for more local
control and more innovative learning that
produces productive citizens who are a
benefit, rather than burden, to society.