Monday, April 26, 2010

Letter to the editor

The following was originally submitted as a Letter to the Editor for the Wicked Local/Franklin Gazette in March 2009. It never got published. I think it is still valid for discussion today, hence I am re-posting it here.


You look at yourself in the mirror and say “I need a haircut”. Or your wife/significant other drops a similar hint. So you make a mental note to stop by the barber shop or call for an appointment.

The designated day arrives, you get your hair cut and have a wide ranging conversation with the barber or stylist. While you are sitting there, he or she is clipping and or cutting away, you solve half the world's problems

Amongst the topics is usually sometime spent discussing the economy and how dismal prospects seem to be at the moment. So and so was let go from Fidelity. So and so was let go from another place. If you listen to the headlines, the economy is in the tank for sure. No one seems to be doing good. Even the banks and automotive companies getting bailouts are coming back for more.

So you change the topic to something brighter. You talk about your days in school, long ago now. How the teachers were good, or tough, or easy. How so and so messed with the chalkboard and got in trouble for it. What is he doing these days? Oh, he is teaching English the next town over. Wow, that is good.

Even if the conversation switched to whatever sport was in season and how the local team was doing, the fact of the matter is the conversation could not have happened without education.

Yes, let's list out how education touched each aspect of this simple event; getting your hair cut.

The barber or hair stylist received their training at an accredited institution.

The teachers at that institution were similarly trained at an accredited institution.

The licensing board personnel were hired because they had a minimum of a high school education, more likely the requirement was a college degree.

The salesperson who stops by the barbershop or beauty salon to sell the shampoo, gel, and other items necessary to operate likely required training from the company on their products.

The conversation itself could take place because both of you were able to speak. You listened, understood what the other was saying and continued that train of thought, or changed it along the way.

I think you get the point.

Everyone around the activity of getting your hair cut or styled was touched by education. The more successful their educational background, the more likely they would be successful in operating their business. Yes, reading, writing and arithmetic are required outside of school.

You can also consider what would happen if educational priorities were changed.

If students were not challenged by their teachers, would they be successful barbers and stylists?

Would they gain their certification or license to operate in the State?

Would the State have sufficient qualified personnel to manage the licensing and auditing process?

Would the hair product companies have new products being developed by researchers to meet the needs of the market place?

Would they have capable sales personnel?

Would you get a good hair cut or hair style?

Considering the impact of education on such a simple transaction, shouldn't it be a priority to provide the best education possible for our children?

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