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.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Ugly Truth about Low Performing Schools....

Here is the ugly truth about low performing schools in parts of Escambia County….

We have a community problem and this is dragging down the performance of our local public schools.

I will say it again.  We have a community problem that is dragging down the performance of our local public schools.

Everybody knows it, nobody discusses it in depth, and we do not have the economic resources to extinguish this fire completely. We use half-measures and extreme political correctness to dance around touchy subjects.  This approach is getting us nowhere.

Think about this---What if someone made this comment to you straight-faced: “Doctors and Hospitals in Pensacola must be terrible, as we have the highest levels of obesity, smoking, early mortality, and disability claimants of just about any community in Florida. We need to fix these deficient Hospitals in Pensacola because Doctors and Hospitals in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Cambridge, Massachusetts are so much better!  Minneapolis and Cambridge have the healthiest populations in the country, year over year, so this illustrates the fact their Hospitals and Doctors are much more professional and better trained than our Doctors here!  Our doctors need to be more professional like those doctors up north so our community will be healthier!”

What about this one:

“These Cops around here are terrible!  Look at how high the crime rate is here compared to Beverly Hills.  I wish these cops around here had the same skill, training and professionalism as those cops in Beverly Hills, so we could have a peaceful, safe, low-crime community like Beverly Hills!”

Ridiculous, right?

Of course it is.

And it is just as ridiculous to hear rubes and simpletons claim we in Escambia County public education are abysmal failures, because we’re not as high-performing as Santa Rosa County or St. Johns County, or some other high performing district.

Judging all teachers and an entire school system by the outcomes and outputs of small dysfunctional populations they serve is no more ridiculous than the two previous examples about cops and doctors.  We need students and parents to buy-in!  Education requires participation.

Here are the real problems….

We have entire segments of the population that live in absolute, utter dysfunction.  In many areas it becomes multi-generational, the new normal.  We have poverty that is extreme-but that in and of itself is not the driver of the problems.  Poverty exacerbates the dysfunction.  We have people moving every six weeks to out-run landlords, gaming the entitlement system, having children out of wedlock to increase their welfare benefit checks, refusing to work, “shopping” with their EBT cards for “friends” taking $.50 cents on the dollar to buy liquor, cigarettes, or drugs,  Selling drugs for money, selling themselves for money, and mistreating their own children.  Crime rates soar in these communities, and entire neighborhoods fall into blight.  We have children being raised by relatives because BOTH parents are incarcerated; we had 6,000 child abuse reports last year in Escambia County, placing us in the top 5% of complaints state-wide.  We have children being raised in homes where violence is commonplace, caregivers are having intercourse in front of children, doing drugs in

front of their children, watching pornography in front of children, and not doing anything to train their own children on behavior---let alone their colors and shapes!  Guess what--when these children from these dysfunctional households come to school, there are problems!

So instead of discussing this problem, having a truly courageous conversation, we instead continue to allow teachers to be scapegoats and we wonder why so many teachers are quitting these schools with high levels of social dysfunction?

We blame teachers and hold parents and communities blameless, and we wonder why we can’t get substitute teachers to show up at some of these schools?
We fail to negotiate pay supplements for the teachers that work in the schools that serve these dysfunctional populations, and we wonder why the Principals and staff turns over completely every three years at these schools and we can’t staff these schools with highly qualified teachers.
It’s really not a mystery.  Here’s the bottom line:

-The fix for this problem will be expensive and it will take time.  Decades.

Spending Billions on pre-pre-pre-Kindergarten programs while blowing up budgets to magnify the nanny state will not work to help the academic achievement of these students.  By third grade, according to the latest and best research available, the academic benefits of expensive pre-k programs vanish and students that did or did not attend such pre-k programs cannot be distinguished from one-another.  So we need to focus resources on doing what works academically:  INTENSIVE reading instruction grades 1-3.  Intensive.  Then we need to be bold like NYC's Harlem Children's Zone.  We need to save hundreds of students, as many as we can, from their devastating home lives;  We need to break the cycle of dysfunction and develop a boarding school for the students locally that live in the most dangerous, dysfunctional environments.  Let their guardians (term used loosely) keep the benefits checks and visit once a week, but let these children have a chance at attaining a normal life.

Liberal policies from the 1960s have come home to roost and there are pockets of our country where generations and generations of families and communities are trapped in absolute dysfunction.  Many families locally have no adult in the workforce.  A dependency class has taken shape and students coming to public schools from this segment of America are starting their lives behind the 8-ball.  Other communities with high levels of social dysfunction (Cleveland, New York, Washington DC, and Miami) have recognized this problem and have started these types of schools.

These children are capable, they can learn, but they must be removed from their toxic environments if we are truly going to make a positive impact and break this cycle of dysfunction on a large scale.

I’ve brought the boarding school concept several times to the board, but nobody listens and nobody takes the initiative to even look at this as a solution that could save these students.  I brought a concept that could work in April of 2014, project 1-12 could be a game-changer, and it would help to provide some students locally an avenue out of their dysfunctional home lives.

But nobody is interested, nobody seizes the initiative.

So we keep doing the same things over and over wondering why nothing changes, asking for more money and attempting feckless solutions while ignoring the real issues.  And we allow lunatics that know nothing about anything to define the reasons for our setbacks, focused on minor issues that will always be present in a large organization of 7,000 employees while ignoring the massive dysfunction among large swaths of the populations we serve.  It is infuriating but nobody speaks up, nobody calls them out, people shrug their shoulders and say "we'll keep trying hard," and the real elephant in the room is never identified....And teachers are micro-managed and forced to do reams of paperwork and checklists and processes and all they want to do is be free to teach!  When will this change?

Every few years we get our state report card that illustrates our academic performance in some schools is near the bottom of the state.

This happened again this year.

Intricate, cerebral explanations are ginned up faster than you can say abracadabra!  The cut-scores were not given to the teachers until January, The state keeps changing the tests, kids are coming to Kindergarten unprepared, we need to focus on more intensive professional development, we need more resources,  we need more tutors, we need new books, we must embrace technology, we need smart-board, etc. etc. etc. and it goes on and on.

I have witnessed this same circumstance year after year for ten years on the school board and I think it is time for real answers, real explanations, and honest conversations about social dysfunction as the MAJOR contributing factor in why some schools struggle year over year.

Here is the reality.  Great communities and great neighborhoods make great public school districts and great public schools.  It is very simple, and it is true.

There are examples throughout Escambia County of public schools that excel academically, making A school grades year over year-- I can give a half-dozen examples right off the bat but I won’t.  We have made huge strides with respect to our on-time, four year graduation rate, and our senior class of 2016 earned $30 Million in college scholarships this year! Our cream of the crop of honor graduates will be attending the finest universities in our nation this fall--they stack up with the smartest students anywhere!

Sure we can do a better job of enforcing discipline, and we should.  I've fought hard for this.  Sure, we could make High School Curriculum more rigorous, and we should. Sure, ESE inclusion is tough, and yes we can do better in a lot of areas, I admit this. But these things alone are not driving our school grades lower.

Blaming the teachers is not the answer.  Blaming the system is not necessarily the right answer.

Looking at reality is the answer and looking realistically at the populations served is part of the solution.

Taking bold approaches is the answer. Having honest conversations is mandatory.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for talking about the real problems! I think they are always avoided because everybody wants to be politically correct. Teachers have to teach to the child from the dysfunctional families by treating them special and by giving them more "rewards," instead of consequences. A child brings a knife to school and threatens to stab another student? Let's set them up with a behavior plan so they get rewards at the end of the day when they have a "good day." So much teaching time and energy is lost to the select few students. We could be removing and disciplining these students, but that is not the politically correct thing to do. No wonder with this type of structure, almost everybody fails! What elementary school student can focus sitting in the same room as a student who screams out and is violent?

Teachers are told we need to reward the "bad" kids to make them better. This doesn't work when the government rewards adults for not working. You give them EBT, WIC, housing, Medicaid, etc and people will continue the bad habits. They know that they don’t have to better their lives, because free stuff is a pretty good deal. What is the point in trying, they might say. If students get rewarded for continuous bad behavior, why try to improve? It is the same mindset. It is obvious that our schools add to society’s perpetual poverty.

Anonymous said...

The purpose of a behavior plan is to teach more appropriate behaviors and recognize when those behaviors occur. Nothing about a behavior plan discusses rewarding "bad" kids or rewarding "bad" behavior. That shouldn't be the expectation of a behavior plan. There is a reason why these children behave inappropriately. The purpose is to identify why the behavior is occurring and help teach them a better way. There are no "good" or "bad" children. Those labels hurt, not help!

Anonymous said...

I've had students before who have received special privelages for poor choices. Throwing chairs or being defiant earns special office helper privelages, or rewards they come back to class showing off to the smarter choice making population. Higher achieving and better behaved students see the rewards and sometimes change their ways in hopes to also receive these privelages. I agree that we are setting some up with the mind set that poor choices are rewarded and some learn there may be no reason to achieve or work towards higher expectations.

Jeff Bergosh said...

I'm sick of great, hard working teachers not being listened to...I'm sick and tired of people attacking the very people that are holding a large part of this community together (teachers). I'm sick of the status quo, and I'm worried about the future of public education if we ignore or fail to accurately identify the massive issues that truly are holding us back (dysfunctional populations served, failure to support employee initiatives to curtail abusive classroom misconduct, failure to alleviate teacher burdens created by onerous state/local/national pedagogical mandates we foist on teachers) while we micro-focus on budgets, minutiae that means nothing, and the latest whiz-bang snake-oil salesman's costly programs and "bright ideas" for "fixing" public education. We need to get back to basics and it is very simple. Support employee decisions with respect to removing students that don't want to learn or are abusive, FORCE parents to engage, Allow teachers to teach, And remove the employees at all levels that are not all in. Otherwise we lose it all, and nothing will change........

Anonymous said...

Please help us Mr. Bergosh.

Anonymous said...

I know of incidents of teachers being kicked,hit and struck by regular ed students. Teachers are cursed and threatened daily. Please help.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, I must remain anonymous. There has been a study done here that identified PARENTING(FAMILY DYSFUNCTION) as the cause of the issues in this area. At the recent "30 Million Words" event with Dana Suskind this was brought up again, and I hoped it would open a new discussion. It has not.

I have watched my school deteriorate over the years as the feeder neighborhoods deteriorated. Although I work 10-12 hours a day plus weekends nothing I do really makes a difference. A handful of children are strong enough and ambitious enough to overcome the toxic nature of their childhoods, but most are not. A fifth grade girl looks forward to turning 14 because by then she will have a baby like her sister. All the encouragement a teacher gives her will not overcome her vision of her destiny as determined by her family and community. For the boys, the gang's influence is stronger than any school consequence for misbehavior and lack of effort. Kindergartners bring weapons and drugs to school, curse and threaten to kill their teacher and classmates. Teachers are chased, scratched, bitten, kicked. Apparently, one child has the right to destroy a whole year of learning for 18 other kids. A teacher who has been attacked by a student has to take medical retirement. A career and life destroyed.

You have courageously put forth the root of the problem. Unfortunately, I must predict that Pensacola will not listen and Escambia County will not listen. It requires looking our ugly reality in the face, and people don't want to be uncomfortable. It requires taking responsibility for the current culture. Because it is much easier to blame other entities than to take responsibility or to assign responsibility in these politically correct times.

Still, I will support you in any way I can. Otherwise I do not see any hope at all.
Best wishes, Mc

Betsy said...

I agree with you 100% but I have one question. Who will you remove the student from that doesn't want to learn or behave? I personally think they should be removed from their parent/caregiver and placed into a boarding home school like this article talks about. By doing so, you give that student the chance to learn correct behavior and potentially change their life. I also would not allow the benefit check to continue to go to the caregiver. That should stay with the child so it can be used for what it was intended to be used for; proper care of that child in the form of nutrition, clothes, and housing.

Anonymous said...

We discussed you running for superintendent. You will have support.

Anonymous said...

I wish he would run for Superintendent as well. We need change by someone that is not afraid to speak the truth; this is not the time to be PC. The sad thing is this has been a problem for this area for decades. Why do you think our brightest students go off to college and never come back? The lack of jobs is also a problem. We need you to help change this town because the teachers are fed up!

Anonymous said...

"Why are the principals always nice to the bad kids?" I was asked this one year by a well behaved student after a disruptive child was removed from my room by the administrators with kind words and pats on the back.
I would support a run for superintendent by you. I think a lot of teachers and parents would do the same.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you Mr Bergosh, for your articulate post. Finally someone who has the guts to tell it like it is. How can we expect children who grow up in horrendous conditions to achieve anything when they're on a daily basis being mistreated. It's a recipe for disaster.Many of these children live in such dire conditions
most people could not fathom it. This is a problem of monumental proportion. The answers are difficult to admit. Generation after generation of lost hope and lost lives all because we refuse to see or admit the cause. I'm retired law enforcement and often worked some of the worst areas in Dade County Fl. I can't tell you how many young girls came up to me when I was in uniform and said when they grew up they wanted to be a Police Officer. Sad to say that even all those years ago I knew the chances of them making it out were almost zero. Nothing has changed and across our great nation children still live on in desperation while Nero fiddles.

Anonymous said...

God have mercy on true evil doers.

Siobhan Tranfaglia said...

My sister is one of those amazing, hard working teachers, with an incredible passion for teaching that carries her through the tough circumstances and ridiculously low pay. Her impact on the lives of her high school students is of the same caliber as Marva Collins, Jaime Escalante and Rafe Esquith. The hoops she is forced to jump through with the meager resources and constant turnover of fellow teachers, doesn't deter her from doing her utmost for her students. I agree that along with a boarding school rescue, teachers need better resources, fair compensation, and above all, RESPECT for the work they do every day. And, yes, they are even working during the summers, continuing their education, professional development, planning for the new school year, and on and on.

Thank you, Jeff, for this brave and innovative post! Let's get this movement started!

Anonymous said...

We are losing good teachers, due to this deficit, to other career choices. Other businesses are expanding in our area offering a better work environment. It may pay better with better benefit packages, yet they are no longer making the difference that drove them throughout their education. I have considered it, and still do think about it sometimes.
Those new teachers that take a job at a more difficult school are severely penalized for not succeeding. Is it really their fault? Would they succeed at another school? Sometimes we don't find out because they run for these alternative careers.
Thank you Mr. Bergosh!! Teachers DO need to be respected more. Thank you ! !

Anonymous said...

Exactly! Our focus needs to be the children. You have a big heart Betsy and are in the right place. Keep caring for that school and it's darlings.

M.ArthurMason said...

The central problem in these communities is poverty, and it's disturbing to me that poverty is mentioned here only to be downplayed. The main solution proffered in the piece seemed to be that we ought setup boarding schools, which could be used then to wrench children from particularly bad situations.

But obviously that is far from the cure for these communities. Such a thing would be little more than a bandaid.

You're right that we need to seriously invest in schools in these struggling neighborhoods. (Conservative lawmakers have long had a problem with this.) Teachers and administrators need be incentivized to work, and struggle through and stay, at schools in these neighborhoods. They need more, not less.

There are reasons these communities are dysfunctional and those reasons must be addressed. They need drug treatment facilities and compassionate policies and policing; they need training programs and employment agencies to guarantee gainful work at livable wages; they need access to family planning services and affordable, quality childcare; they need after-school and community-building programs and facilities; and yes, you're right: it is going to take a lot of money and several decades to reverse the damage that's been done. (Though I suspect we may disagree about the causes of that damage.)

Anonymous said...

I am one of the teacher who quit. I do believe we have these problems in our county and I do think test results are lower because of this. But, I don't agree with the testing policies in our state or our country. When I was a child, I completed a year in grade school and if I passed, I went on to the next grade. When I was in high school, the classes I took always had a mid-term and a final and other quizzes. If I passed these, I passed that class and could move on. I did not have an exit exam. I graduated without this. NOTE: I did not really care about education in my youth. My grades were not the greatest. I presently have three degrees. One of them in Education where I taught for seventeen years. And all of these were with honors. Today I would not and I repeat would not have graduated high school. The requirements are too stiff and with the attitude I had in my youth, I would have given up. The testing has to go. Our youth needs encouragement not discouragement. With this testing we are discouraging our kids and this has to stop.

Anonymous said...

Thank you ! ! You are not the only one in similar situations. No one ever realized I had learning issues, so therefore if stricter testing was in place I probably would not have graduated either. I stress freaked, blanked at tests yet I knew the material. Present situations where students need to prove they know/understand the material, assess not test them.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty. As an elementary teacher in Escambia co. I see what you mentioned on a daily basis at my achool, and very often in my own classroon. It is disheartening to be compared to teachers in Santa Rosa Co. (Where I live) as they do not educate the same populations as we do. I hope more people start to open their eyes to the real problems we have in Pensacola, and begin to listen and find a solution that is best for the students.

Jeff Bergosh said...

Thousands and thousands of people have been reading this article, people from around the country. This post is the most read post I have ever had on my blog since 2008, so I know I have touched a nerve with the content. Thank you to all of those who have commented on this, to those who have expressed thanks for this piece being written, and thanks also to the many who have reached out to me via texts, phone calls, and PMs regarding this article. To those who mentioned me as a possible candidate for superintendent--thank you for those comments and that is extremely humbling :). I am actually running for County Commission, though, and in that position if I am so fortunate to win this election, I do believe there are opportunities to improve our community greatly and in doing so there will be benefits to the local public school system---as great communities make great public school systems. I did also get beat up by a few individuals as well on Facebook, and that sucks, but hey it comes with the territory. Haters hate and some people simply will not accept facts that are true if these facts do not line up with their personal worldview. Because I believe this is such an important issue, I may submit a condensed version to the Pensacola News Journal as a "Viewpoint." We will see if they publish it or not. I hope they will because these conversations must be had, and they must be frank.

Anonymous said...

@ M. ArthurMason,
I have a horse who will not drink water...he was abused...I lead him to water, but he won't drink. Please help me, I have given rehab, I cheer him, give him resources, but he won't drink...please use your insight (whatever that is) to fix this...I as have pleaded with my horse, I now plead with you...please, please, please drink water...not kool-aid

Anonymous said...

We must not forget the bus operators as well. We deal with the same issues and do not get help. We make less then garbage truck drivers however we carry children. We are underpaid and overworked and no one and I mean NO ONE will help us

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Bergosh,
Your letter on Facebook was incredible. I am not sure allowing the state to run a boarding school would be what we would want. Perhaps a boarding school run by a charitable organization to maintain local control and control of the moral influence. A State run organization would not allow for any religious moral values to be taught. Let us not forget the separation of church and state that plagues our country now. Having local control would better serve our community.

13 of our elementary schools face an additional hour of class-time. An additional hour won't serve our students or increase our teachers’ ability to teach more. An additional hour will exacerbate the problem of tardiness. It increases student fatigue of our youngest children in the classroom. It increases the workload of our teachers at school and what we already take home. Is there any data available that shows that this extra time is increasing student learning?

No one wants to address the problems of tardiness and absenteeism or cares that students with excessive behavior problems are causing our failing grades by disrupting the learning of the whole class. Students and parents face no consequence in not coming to school on time or leaving early on a daily basis. There is no consequence of multiple absences every week. Students cannot learn if they are not here. Teachers cannot teach them if students are not here. Yet, student performance is tied to 50% of our evaluation. How is that fair? Why can’t we be judged on our own efforts and performance?

Students with behavioral issues are allowed to disrupt learning on a daily. Whole classes are routinely evacuated so that a student can finish destroying (in hopes of calming down on their own) an entire room. The learning for everyone is then disrupted. Those students interrupt the education of the entire class filled with students who want to learn. The teacher is left to spend his/her time cleaning up and recreating the learning environment. Additional time is wasted to get students back and the class and pick up where they left off. Why are we not doing the obvious and removing the student causing the issue? This would not happen in communities of N.B. Cook or Suter. These students have advocates in their parents who are actively involved. The learning of our lower income children is being sacrificed because they have no voice in their family for the reasons you so eloquently stated and no one from the community will question these low performing schools on how their children’s education is being interrupted by a few students who have uncontrollable behavior. Why is this allowed? Teachers and principals have little authority to deal with students with severe behavior problems and very little support with getting these students help or identified at the district level. . Why is it accepted that teachers can be verbally and sometimes physically hurt with very little consequences. Why are we not pursuing our motto, “Create a school district where parents want to send their children, students want to learn, teachers want to teach and employees want to work? The lack of support for our teachers and administrators is creating chaos in the classroom while blaming the one who leads the instruction.

We want our students to succeed, why else would we be here. The hours are long and the pay is low. The answer is that we have listened to our God-given calling and love what we do and we are very qualified, but we need a voice. I believe we will continue to be the scapegoat of Escambia County and no one will conduct real efforts in increasing student learning by addressing these issues. I am saddened that you are seeking another public office. You have been a light in the darkness in your efforts to show the real problems in Escambia County.

Anonymous said...

The reason why people are upset is that if you pay AT LEAST $200k for a halfway decent house in central Pensacola, you expect to be able to send your child to a decent school. I don't know how the community is supposed to thrive when this continues to be a problem. No wonder Gulf Breeze is over crowded. There are plenty of "property stricken" areas in Midway, but Woodlawn Beach continues to be an "A" school. The same with Milton, but their children are districted to go to "A" schools. Thanks for reminding me that I'm a rube or simpleton for trying to invest and stay in a community that I love....

Jeff Bergosh said...

Anon 12:34 Nobody called you a rube or a simpleton. That was reserved for the person who kicked every hard-working teacher and employee of Escambia County in the teeth by calling the entire district an "Abysmal failure." I'm not aware that you said that, unless you are he, the one who stated that, and I doubt it. That person is a special kind of arrogant, someone who has a modicum of power in his position yet FAILS to roll up the sleeves and get to work on helping the community. Instead he is disengaged and only throws rocks. I don't think you and this person are one and the same. but enough about people that talk a good game but do nothing but alienate and posture. Yes, we are far from perfect-- our district struggles with something far more insidious than just poverty....It is social dysfunction. Please by all means re-read the post. I mention poverty in passing, not as the main driver but as something that exacerbates the social dysfunction that is omnipresent in many pockets of Escambia County. Call me at 850-293-1459 so we can discuss in detail, and I would like to know the specific problems you are having with your local Escambia County Public School--I may be able to help you.

Anonymous said...

Some of the schools on this list have been on the extra hour requirement for at least three years. If the extra hour actually made a difference, why didn't it fix the problem the first year, the second year, or even the third year teachers and students were forced to do it?

Anonymous said...

:) Wanted New Superintendent PLEASE!
Malcolm thomas is not a real solution

Nikki Lambert said...

I support Jeff Bergosh for superintendent! What you said was jarring but largely reality-based. I love it! Your blog is refreshing! I don't always agree with your viewpoints but I respect the way you methodically argue the point. Thanks for addressing the elephant in the room.

Anonymous said...

Please re read your post. I am sure you meant no disrespect. Surely our bus drivers are deserving of our thanks for protecting our children. However the people that collect refuse from our homes and places of business to keep our city clean also work just as hard and are also are just as worthy and deserving of our recognition and respect as any other professional.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

This is the first time in a long time that I have read something that addresses a lot of issues the public school system has. I believe that you have listed some answers to the many problems the schools system has.

The current school superintendent has had some success in the position he holds. I have supported him in the past but when he supported giving the teachers a 1.5% raise last year and continue to increase the paper work, it is obvious that he does not support the teachers.

The teachers should not have to put up with students that cause confusion in the class room. Most of the students are there to learn and should not be penalized because of a few. The teachers should not have to live in fear because of a violent student.

I would encourage the board members and parents go to the schools and look at the cleanliness of the hall, restrooms and classrooms and you will find that the schools are dirty and we have not provided a good learning environment for the students. The current system does not allow for the administration to discipline the cleaning staff and nothing ever changes.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the public risk with your open and frank comments. I realize that no one person has all of the answers and there is no magic system that will make it all better. If you can do anything that will empower the teachers and cut down on the bureaucracy so many resources could be freed up to maybe focus on the children. From my view we've taken all of the most experienced and trained teachers and have turned them into an assembly line worker with no authority to deviate from kid to kid.

Anonymous said...

Part of the local problem is the current superintendent will take credit for anything positive that happens in the schools though it is usually so far removed from him , and anything negative is not his fault, but the fault of the teachers. He demands the respect of teachers, but has no respect for them.

Lila Davidson said...

Open dialog and support of the entire community would be a game changer. Just blogging about it won't do it. I challenge you to use your influence, your passion and desire to do something to support others like myself that have taken the initiative. The comment you made: "nobody takes the initiative to even look at this as a solution that could save these students" is the same feeling that those who do have solutions and are taking action have felt, but that didn't stop me from "just doing it!"

I challenge you and all your bloggers to find and support the people like myself, and their organizations, who have taken the initiative and I will do the same for you! Listen to this broadcast from last week:
Goto my website for the foundation I started in April of 2015 HARNESSING OPPORTUNITY AND POWER OF EDUCATION, Inc. 501C qualified

Instead of complaining about the failed system, and all the other elements contributing to it, I DID TAKE THE INITIATIVE and ACTION to try to do something to save these students. I have a purpose, a vision, a passion for change that would benefit the children and the entire community. Inspiring other leaders and every individual in the community to use their influence, take ownership and responsibility, and to support others like myself that are taking the initiative and believe there are solutions is a dream that could take decades, like you said yourself. But my supernatural strength and courage and the miraculous progress made in just a short time, leads me to HOPE for the greatness we can achieve together, and with God's help, can effect the change that is needed.

You can't do it alone or with a single good idea. Neither can I. There are too many contributing factors, and one leader, one organization, cannot do it alone. We need to support each other and we need to take action....the time for talk is over.

I truly believe our troubles began when we allowed the removal of prayer from school. That's is a kind of joke because there will always be prayer in school as long as we are only focused of grading the students, grading the teachers, grading the schools, and hoping and praying to pass the test so that they are not categorical labeled as an F student, teacher, or school. There are more important qualifications than test scores! Therefore the system has failed and we can start to fix the problem by changing the system. The system took away our FREEDOM to choose on a local level, and took the power away from school administrators and educators to be creative and effect change based on individual needs they witness first hand.

If we were aloud to focus on the real problem solving of poor sanitation and environmental health problems, poverty, abuse, unemployment, the lack of inspiration and will of the students learn and stay in school, we can solve the problems within the school system. I have worked with some students from an excellent F school. They are behind in the test score, but the students are confident, willing, motivated, hopeful, passionate, and excellent students that deserve an A+ in other areas that matter most. Excellence of character and hearts to serve, to be good citizens, and belief in themselves can only be witnessed, not tested.

A cookie cutter education system that strives to leave no child behind, and focuses strictly on CORE and what they MUST learn, has been proven to be a failure. instead we need individualizing of the curricula, classrooms and programs, based of individual abilities, gifts, and desires,and to learn. And we need at the same to to attach the basic needs and problems already mention at the same time.

gbteacher said...

Wow. I would love to sit and talk with you

Jeff Bergosh said...

@gbteacher I would love to talk to you as well. I'd love to hear your perspective. Just give me a call anytime and we can chat 850-293-1459