A year ago, John Merrow had a medical emergency. In the hospital, his blood pressure fell so low that it appeared his vital organs were failing. His medical team saved his life.

He learned some important lessons, which he shares here. 

The first two are medical advice.

The third is this:

THE THIRD LESSON IS FOR EVERYONE: THE DIVERSE MEDICAL TEAM THAT SAVED MY LIFE–THAT’S AMERICA IN 20 OR 25 YEARS, BECAUSE THAT’S WHEN OUR ENTIRE COUNTRY WILL BECOME ‘MAJORITY MINORITY.’

FOR PROOF, JUST LOOK AT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS, WHICH BECAME ‘MAJORITY MINORITY’ IN 2014.

AFTER THEY GRADUATE, THESE 51 MILLION KIDS ARE GOING TO BECOME THE VETERINARIANS TAKING CARE OF OUR PETS, THE AIRLINE MECHANICS MAINTAINING THE PLANES WE FLY ON, THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS DECIDING WHETHER THE RUNWAY IS CLEAR, THE CPA’S PREPARING OUR TAX RETURNS, THE POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS IN OUR COMMUNITIES, AND THE TEACHERS OF OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN.

BECAUSE I WAS A REPORTER FOR A LONG TIME, ALLOW ME A FOLLOW UP QUESTION: ARE OUR ‘MAJORITY MINORITY’ PUBLIC SCHOOLS DOING A GOOD JOB OF EDUCATING THE KIDS WHO WILL ONE DAY PLAY IMPORTANT PARTS IN OUR LIVES?

SHORT ANSWER, UNFORTUNATELY, IS NO. PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE MORE SEGREGATED THAN EVER, BY BOTH RACE AND INCOME. BECAUSE OF ‘NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND’ AND THE BUSH AND OBAMA ADMINISTRATIONS’ OBSESSION WITH TEST SCORES, MOST POOR KIDS NOW SPEND AT LEAST ONE MONTH PRACTICING TAKING TESTS– DESPITE CLEAR EVIDENCE THAT TEST PREP PRODUCES LOWER TEST SCORES.

LOW INCOME CHILDREN ALSO ATTEND SCHOOLS WITH FEWER EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES AND HAVE LESS EXPOSURE TO SCIENCE, ART AND MUSIC. SOME HIGH POVERTY SCHOOLS ACTUALLY ELIMINATED RECESS…TO ALLOW MORE TIME TO PRACTICE TEST-TAKING.

DURING THESE YEARS, FAR TOO MANY EDUCATORS CHANGED TEST SCORES AND FALSIFIED GRADUATION RECORDS–TO MAKE THEMSELVES LOOK GOOD. IN DOING SO, THEY DEPRIVED THEIR STUDENTS OF A DECENT EDUCATION.

BASICALLY, THIS APPROACH HAS FAILED. FOR TWENTY YEARS TEST SCORES HAVE BEEN LARGELY FLAT, AND THE GAPS BETWEEN RACIAL AND ECONOMIC GROUPS HAVE EITHER GOTTEN LARGER OR REMAINED THE SAME.

BREAKING TESTING’S STRANGLEHOLD ON PUBLIC EDUCATION MIGHT JUST BE SAVE OURSELVES, BECAUSE, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, 35 PERCENT OF THE JOB GROWTH SINCE 2007 HAS BEEN IN HEALTHCARE. THAT FIELD INCLUDES 13 OF THE 20 FASTEST GROWING PROFESSIONS.

THAT MEANS THAT A LOT OF THOSE PUBLIC SCHOOL KIDS ARE GOING TO BECOME OUR DOCTORS AND NURSES, OUR ANESTHESIOLOGISTS AND X-RAY TECHNICIANS, AND OUR MEDICAL ATTENDANTS.

I AM HEALTHY NOW AND WAKE UP SAYING ‘GOOD MORNING, GOD,’ INSTEAD OF ‘GOOD GOD, MORNING.’ I TRY TO TREAT EACH DAY AS A GIFT.

John’s right. Our public are not “failing” the children who may one day save our lives. But our politicians are failing our schools, failing to give them the resources they need, forcing stupid mandates on them, crippling their ability to educate their students well.

Glad you are healthy, John.