Equality has always been striven for. We believe that men and women, black and white, poor and rich, and the smart and struggling should all be treated the same with equal opportunities. As much as this makes sense in principle, the thing is, it cannot be done. The saying “life isn’t fair” isn’t going to change. Because as soon as you strive to make things fair for the under-represented group, there will still always be those left out.
As soon as the “No child left behind” and new curriculum and standardized tests were put into place while I was in high school, more state testing was being done. And the kids who didn’t meet the scores they were supposed to were put into different study halls than the rest. I, among many at my school, was in many AP college level courses where I put in a large amount of effort. Sure, I was born with great genetics that allowed for me to naturally catch onto things quickly, but I still needed to work to get those good grades. By changing study halls, a lot of the teachers were busy with the kids who had lower test scores to work with them on extra schoolwork the district made them do outside of their regular classes. Not only was that taking out time they could be working on actual graded homework, but it wasn’t fair to us – the hard-working and competent students who were responsible enough to know we needed help to succeed. Teachers we needed help from in our study hall were pre-occupied trying to babysit the kids who didn’t want to do the work. A majority of the kids in these special study halls were too busy smoking weed on the weekends, sleeping after school, and dicking around during class to get anything productive done. In the process of trying to make all students on the same playing field, those who were aware of the work and help they needed to personally succeed felt the detrimental side effects: less attention was given to us, and we had to either find other time to clarify our questions or suffer the consequences. In the process of trying to be fair, the smart, motivated students were being punished.
Two years later, and this issue is back, but on a much larger scale. Wisconsin state schools are facing a $300 million dollar budget cut proposed by the re-elected governor Scott Walker. $86 million from this cut will specifically come from University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of the highest ranked public schools in America. Scott Walker is taking away the money that goes to professors and student resources at the University. Instead, Scott Walker would like to implement drug testing for those on welfare. At first, this seems fair. Those of us who work to pay taxes for those on food stamps should be ensured that the money is going to able-bodied people who aren’t wasting their life to drugs and can also positively contribute to society. Those on food stamps were the same people who score too low on standardized tests. There is no way to make everyone equal, because in the end, those who don’t want to motivate themselves and succeed on their own will find a way around it. And by Walker putting money into drug testing, us, the educated money-makers of the world are suffering. Our higher education is being sacrificed. In its 160 year history, University of Wisconsin-Madison has never seen a budget cut like this, so it is not ridiculous to be so against this. Walker is becoming infamous in the process of taking money from education for criminals’ commodities, sports arenas, and drug testing.
This is not an argument about budget cuts anymore. We can no longer criticize him and try to stop it by reiterating that Walker himself doesn’t have a higher education. These budget cuts are no longer a point of dinner conversation and light banter. It is a serious issue that will affect students, professors, and the professional world. I did not go to one of the top-ranked public Universities in America to have the budget cut and my education sacrificed. College is not about getting good grades and going through the motions. Walker needs to know that college is about gaining experiences in and out of the classroom and using this knowledge to move forward mankind and implement new ideas and conventions. By cutting education, Walker is taking Wisconsin in the opposite direction. Without research and the passing on of knowledge, the next generation will suffer from lack of progress. Walker does not care about the progress – he looks for business’ economic stability and progress. This is no longer a fight about budget cuts. This is a fight for the advancement of the Wisconsin Idea and mankind.