I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Monday, February 9, 2015

These Two Articles Frame the Big Issues Destroying American Public Education.....

Two education stories got my attention over the last few days, and they both complement each other on the subject of modern public school climate. They also point to the two biggest issues that are destroying public education: 1.)  Apathy and failure to confront the real issues that are leading some schools to fail, and 2.) the disingenuous, hypocritical, insidious educrat mantra that proclaims education reform is bad --and all schools can be fixed if everybody will just get on the same page and howl for more taxpayer money.

The first article is in today’s, and it points out the blatant hypocrisy of education reform critics.  It’s a brief but interesting read- really thought provoking.  From “The Paradoxes of Education Reform Critics”

“Reform critics have embraced anti-democratic rhetoric to attack the Gates Foundation and other organizations that want to influence education. For example, Diane Ravitch has called them written before ”bastions of unaccountable power” that aren’t “subject to public oversight or review”, and who “have taken it upon themselves to reform public education, perhaps in ways that would never survive the scrutiny of voters in any district or state”.   That sounds a lot like unions to me, but education reform critics like Ravitch don’t seem to mind them one bit.  Likewise, Ravitch and other reform critics also praise the democratic nature of schools as something that is sacrosanct, but then insist these beacons of democracy shouldn’t be able to freely operate without negotating with unions. Which kind of sounds like we don’t trust these institutions very much at all.”

Walter Williams has a piece in today’s Pensacola News Journal that tackles the issue of social dysfunction impacting education.  Interestingly, this same piece (albeit longer and less sanitized) appeared on last Wednesday.  In this piece, Williams  cuts right to the heart of the issue in so many schools when he correctly points out that home-life conditions are what is driving poor performance in many public schools.  He takes it a step further when he also, aptly, states that demanding more and more taxpayer cash will not fix this problem---American families must step up.  I’m certain his correct viewpoint on this issue makes him a pariah in some circles…..From the article “Tragic School Stories”

“New York's schools are the most segregated in the nation, and the state needs remedies right away. That was Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch's message to New York's governor and Legislature. She said that minority children are disproportionately trapped in schools that lack teaching talent, course offerings and resources needed to prepare them for college and success.  Simply calling for more school resources will produce disappointing results. There are several minimum requirements that must be met for any child to do well in school. Someone must make the youngster do his homework, ensure that he gets eight to nine hours of sleep, feed him breakfast and make sure that he behaves in school and respects the teachers. None of these requirements can be satisfied by larger education budgets. They must be accomplished by families, or all else is for naught…The bottom line is that if nothing is done to affect the home life and cultural values that produce the non-learning attitudes and climate that are the subject of Linda Ball's "185 Days: School Stories," there's little that can be done to improve black education. The best that politicians can do is to give parents and children who are serious about education a mechanism to opt out of rotten schools. That option is something the education establishment fights tooth and nail against.”

1 comment:

Gulagathon said...

When I was teaching, there was a kid put into my class in the middle of the semester, he was from the special ed class. At this school they were trying to intergrate the special ed kids into the regular classes. For some kids this can work, but for others, this can be a complete disaster. This particular kid was a freaking disaster in my class. He couldn't read or write, but he made it past elementary school. All this kid ever did was cause disruptions, he wouldn't listen, he was just one of the biggest nuisances I have ever encountered. To cover up the fact of not being able to read or write, all he did was cause distractions, and made my days suck even more. But that's just one bad kid; all I mostly had were bad kids, and most of them could barely write. Some could read way better than they could write, and others vice versa.

How the heck can you teach a kid that is so incredibly far behind, and he probably will never catch up because the days are wasted with kids like him acting out in class and slowing everybody else down. The administration were in la la land, wanting class time fun, and wanted all students engaged including the kid who can't read or write who wants to turn the classroom upside down.