I keep up with the national and international news like most folks. My guess is that we have all heard countless stories of how poorly the American education system ranks in comparison to that in other countries like Japan, Germany, and Sweden. When I read these news pieces I am left with the impression that our elementary, middle, and high schools are doing little than providing cheap day care for our children. Those schools that try to make an effort only teach to the dullest student in the room. The main goal is to make everyone feel good about themselves. Everywhere it seems that our students graduate high school unable to read or write, unable to think for themselves, and unable to compete in the dog-eat-dog "real" world. These news reports on our education system portray the teachers as a bunch of louts who couldn't give a rip about our children. I can certainly admit that my view of our system and the people in it has been strongly colored by the news reports that I have come across over the years.
Recently my daughter's middle school hosted what was termed an "open school" night for parents. I got a chance to meet each of her teachers in each of the different class rooms. The teachers then told us about their curriculum, their standards, and their expectations for each of their students. What I found during my visit were teachers who loved what they were teaching, who cherished the opportunity to teach and interact with young people, and who took great pride in the job they were doing. They each demonstrated passion, energy, and commitment. I can only say that I was very much impressed. Definitely this rates an A+ America in my book.