Stavros Sanidas

CEO/Founder of Sanidas Academy


It is becoming increasingly evident through media in other countries, as well as through feedback on the internet and in polls, that Americans are unhappy with the education system in the US.  We constantly hear things like, “Eastern countries are scoring higher on similar tests in almost every field…”. There are definitely elements of children’s upbringing in the US that prepare them for adulthood in a different manner than elsewhere in the world; these things are not all negative.  That being said, major changes in our system are necessary for us to progress as a nation. This week I’d like to explore a few of these issues.


Our educational vector since “New Math” in the 1950’s-60’s

The 50’s in the US were a very troublesome time.  The population felt uneasy about a technological disparity between the US and the Soviet Union during the famous space race period.  This caused American boards to implement huge changes specifically within the mathematics curriculum in our country. The most drastic of these changes included elements of understanding theory of mathematics and straying away from what mathematicians today call, “Industrial Mathematics”.  Industrial Mathematics is known as the heavy in arithmetic work including things like multiplication and long division. New math replaced these principles and gravitated towards understanding of functional properties theory. Most of you are probably aware of terms like Commutative, Associative, and Distributive properties.

Math today, and the circumlocuting nature of the Board of Ed.

In the current educational meta, we see our children becoming frantic as their parents are incapable of helping them with parts of their homework.  We are now in an era focused on overtaking Asian countries like Singapore, Korea, etc. The U.S. has taken steps like introducing Common Core Curriculum as well as G&T programs/schools.  Common Core or Singaporean math is a system using different forms of computation for basic arithmetic. This part of its existence has been scrutinized since it’s rebirth in the western world only a few years ago.  Contrary to what many may believe, I don’t see Common Core as a major issue. Singaporean children hold an average IQ of 108, in comparison to our 99-101, and perform exceedingly better on tests. Unfortunately the point of changing the curriculum within this part of the world and doing it often (talk of Common Core being on its way out has already surfaced), has nothing to do with the performance of our children.

Let me stray for a moment to build a stronger foundation so the pillars of understanding stay strong as I casually dance around this enormous issue and bring light to some shady corners:  The American Red Cross is an enormous entity, which partially daddles in the teaching and standardization of CPR in the U.S. In college as an undergraduate, I was a TA for a cpr training, and noticed a trend.  Every single year our methodologies would receive a minor amendment and, consequently, all the books would need to be replaced with newer models. The pattern stayed true for so many consecutive years that it became apparent there was a monetary agenda involved.

To expand further, it is apparent there is a similar nature between the American Red Cross and the contracting taking place within the infrastructure of our public education’s business offices.  When visiting my local test prep bookstore in the heart of Flushing, I posed a question to ownership pertaining to the rate of sales comparatively between common core and non-common core books. It turns out that famous test prep companies like, Progress,  printed books without “common core” written on them and then reprinted with the words on the cover. The books that were printed with “common core” on the cover page, ended up selling at about a 10:1 ratio with the books that did not. Now, this doesn’t prove much in regards to the agenda but it does help to paint a picture about how quick the population is to completely trust and follow methods that are passed by the Board of Ed.  This means that no matter the change, every year, people and schools (usually schools are forced) are willing to buy more new material to follow along with unnecessary changes that don’t truly help advance the curriculum of our children.

All of these statements are truly trivial if I do not offer a solution of course. In a world full of discontent it’s only fair to provide reasoning as well as a solution.  The issue may seem complicated but truly it as well as it’s answer are basic. The implementation of new learning styles, different environments and teaching methods, are all overshadowed by the monstrosity of what has become a standard class size in our country, as well as in the world.  Just the other day one of the parents in our school was voicing her opinion on the testing format of her Kindergarten son’s classroom. The topic of population came up and of course I heard the number. Many of you are parents, and fully understand the uncompromising and energetic demeanor of children in a group setting.  Imagine a teacher shepherding 23 kindergarten students around a classroom while trying to teach them the foundations our system deems necessary is probably just as daunting a task as we can conceive. The quality of the education then becomes a trivial deduction. It is impossible to deliver results in this setting.

So then what is the point?  Why is it even mandatory that our children be a part of this?

If we focus on what was previously stated, asserting our society as capitalistic in nature, the answers seem a bit more obvious.  Cutting class sizes, expanding curriculum, and focusing on future markets, is all impossible because of the cash needed. Fuck the cash.  Let them waste their time squeezing out every penny whilst we hoist the nation up by its knickers. The future is now.

Progress in our country is reliant on the strength of our educational programs.  If major changes in our capitalist approaches are not taken immediately, we will continue spiraling downward.  The systems set in place to teach our children are of utmost importance because they dictate the future of every field of work, every cultural metamorphosis, and every technological advancement.  Coalescence is necessary; consciousness is quantifiable if the past is used as a reference point; the degradation of our crystalized intelligence because of an agenda accelerating us towards singularity is fallacious.