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, November 30, 2015

How Ideologically Driven Social Engineering Usurps Local Control and Damages Public Schools Part III.....

Like some sort of a cholesterol-lowering Lipitor commercial, social justice engineers want lower numbers of suspensions of certain students for certain behaviors.   So, in order to achieve these lower numbers some states have actually “legislated” away some behavior categories that have previously resulted (rightfully so, IMHO) in student removal from classes.  

Willful defiance was legislated away as a discipline offense in California, and the effects have been devastating to classrooms and teachers in some districts, particularly in Los Angeles.  Teachers are reporting the change has had a devastatingly negative effect on classroom atmospheres.

(For a truly interesting insight, read the real teacher's facebook and article comments on the bottom of this ridiculous piece in the Huffington Post-- and this interesting piece in the LA Times---some of these comments had me laughing so hard I blew coffee through my right nostril!)

Educrats and other water-carriers and useful idiots say to the affected teachers “Talk to the Hand!” as they dance and take victory laps over how doggone effective these policies have become!
Of course these ideologues, most of whom are out of touch and have never stepped foot into a real inner-city classroom, think this policy is just dandy. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the bureaucrats are at it again, this time looking for higher numbers.  Specifically, they are looking for higher graduating numbers overall, percentage wise, for public school students overall and certain students specifically.  

Problem is, in order to meet this lofty goal, the rigor is being eviscerated, and the bar is being lowered in order to get these “higher numbers.”  The evidence of this is all around us:

Astronomically high numbers of  students in NYC cannot  pass the English/Math (or both) parts of their state exams--yet 90 % of these same students are receiving passing grades from their schools in these very subjects.

In Nevada, 58% of the entering college freshmen that are coming from the public school system require remedial coursework.  This, in turn, is leading to higher incidences of college dropouts.

The evidence is all around, hiding in plain sight.  It is not just New York, Nevada, and California. I see High School Juniors and Seniors who get in trouble in school and attempt to write out statements 

and the grammar is 5th grade level and the handwriting is illegible. Ironically, in many cases these same students are "passing" their classes in language arts. I hear from business owners that our graduates, many of them, are coming into the workforce "unprepared."  But bureaucrats want results, forget about these real examples of students not being prepared--we want better numbers! -is the refrain.

So we, in turn, see that these radical ideas and protocols designed to drive immediate results to pacify social justice devotees simply do not work.  Worse yet, in the drive to make “numbers” look good, and in order to meet “goals”—the public schools are being torn to pieces right in front of our eyes.

Between slack discipline, teacher burnout and turnover, middle class flight from public schools, special interests and unions grifting off of the public's educational expenditures,  and many other problems---the public schools are in trouble.  The Canary in the coal mine is wobbling around in the cage, laboring to breath and nobody is watching...nobody, it seems, cares.

If we continue the self-serving, politically correct policies of least resistance, minimal objection, and maximum self-comfort-- the demise of our once great public school system, I fear, is less than two generations away.  

This transformation of public school systems may even occur sooner than this in some areas of widespread poverty and social dysfunction.  New Orleans has already begun the process of transition.  Others are not far behind.

Because parents want--and taxpayers demand--safe, effective, schools that provide rigorous educations that will help children succeed throughout their lives.  If the public schools continue to not deliver this, the entire system will implode and become a universal voucher program and only the good schools, public, private, and/or otherwise will survive; all others will shutter.

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