I suppose it’s time for me to explain a little bit more about myself, and why as a non-educator I am so interested in education. I am a MSgt in the USAF and spent most of my career living in Europe (The Netherlands, England, German, Italy, and Belgium). Two of kids started out in Department of Defense schools, which were all in all excellent. Because of the tight knit overseas military community, the parents and the teachers had a great working relationship. I was literally floored when I was reassigned to the United States and saw the state of the school system, especially here in South Carolina. Because by nature I am inquisitive, I began to research the subject of education. The more I dug, the more shocked I became. I always knew intuitively that somehow my kids were being shortchanged, but it wasn’t until I began exploring the edublogosphere that I realized just how truly screwed up things were. Sure I am confident that my kids will succeed despite the system, but I think that not only my kids but the children of our nation deserve better. I truly believe that education is the solution to 90% of what ails this country. Why is it my German friend's 9 year olds spoke passable English and was learning basic algebra while my 5th grader was figuring out how to find out what 7 x 9 is on her fingers? Children are capable of learning, but it requires effort, time, and proven methods.