It's become clear that the anemic housing market and recovery is a result of a weak economy and a misallocation of resources. Fixing this requires an overhaul from top to bottom, and it begins with education. While anxious parents are overscheduling their kids with Chinese language lessons, and school districts inundate children with hours of homework that studies show no proven correlation with success, technology continues to advance at lightning speed and make many skills redundant and obsolete. For example, a recent Kickstarter project rolled out with earbuds that translates language in real-time. In the age of information, rote memorization is a useless exercise and doesn't make sense. The value of memory and recall of facts has declined, while resourcefulness and creativity will always be in demand. The push towards science, technology, engineering, and math classes (STEM) is happening for obvious reasons, but the culling of art, music, and physical education is short sighted. Art, music, and physical activity stimulates the brain and help children with self expression and creativity. Those are the traits that set the stage for innovation, and this economy needs innovators more than ever. At some point, children will become young adults and they will enter their careers as sales people, administrators, specialists, or entrepreneurs. When they do, resourcefulness and creativity will be the fundamental traits that help them succeed and innovate in whatever they do. Educators can do more good by keeping this in mind. Teaching to the test, will help kids pass a test. But promoting the values of resourcefulness and creativity will help kids thrive and succeed with the real test that matters, which is succeeding in their chosen careers. And when they succeed, we all succeed, and then we'll see that success reflected in higher incomes, greater savings, and ultimately more homeowners.
- Brian Nguyen is a senior loan consultant (NMLS 659743) who learned more about this stuff than he ever intended to. The opinions expressed here are solely his own.