We Should be Ashamed of Ourselves

December 19, 2009

A few days ago, the fact came to me that we spend about $12,000 per student each year in public K-12 education.

That made me think of a couple more things.

First, I thought that the cost of health insurance for a family is about $12,000 per year and we think that’s expensive, but we don’t seem to think a cost of $12,000 per year for one student in basic education of K-12 is expensive?

Next, I used some math I learned in elementary school to figure out that by the time someone receives a high school diploma, we have invested roughly $156,000 in their education.

Then I thought about of all the excuses that are made for grown ups who do dumb things.  “It’s too hard to understand.”  “Someone took advantage of them.”  “Everybody else was doing it.”  “They just did what the experts told them to do.”

Full disclosure:  I have more than a $156,000 worth of education and I still do dumb things.

But, let me get this straight, most of us are walking around with at least $156,000 worth of education and yet we expect so very little of each other.  When we do dumb things, we make excuses rather than use our $156,000 educations to figure out how not to repeat our mistakes.  The only thing that comes to mind is the phrase my Mom would use on me and my brother when she caught us in the act of mischief, “You should be ashamed of yourselves!”  We should be.

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