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A needed lawsuit
Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:27 pm
I once was a substitute teacher in a public school system. Here lately, I have gotten so aggravated at what I saw, I explored the internet, and discovered your site.
Do you guys have any idea how degenerate the institution of public schooling has gotten? The amorality of administrators? The harassment of teachers? The playing of the race game? Of course, many schools are fine, but, if you are working class, your kid is likely to be in a loud classroom with kids whose disruptive behavior is tolerated.
I subbed in an elementary school one day. A class for kids with learning disorders. Or, maybe LBD, combined. Four kids were fine kids. Two boys were incorrigible. Eventually, I sent one of these 2 boys to the office.
The Principal called a short while later, to say that the boy had turned over a new leaf and was on his way back. I know kids often throw the referral I've written away, on their way to the office, so I checked, asking the Principal if he'd gotten it. He wouldn't answer directly, giving me an evasive answer.
Later, the teacher next door told me, "Our Principal is new, and he won't suspend the students who need to be suspended. He wants his numbers to look good with the school board. Whenever there is a sub, I have to come over and bale them out."
Hmm. So, four kids suffer, because of the Principal's concern for numbers, and the wishes of beaurocrats at the board. Whose kids are likely in the nicer of the public school systems schools, where disruption is not allowed.
I think the only thing which will change it is a class action lawsuit. WHY are these kids allowed to disrupt class? Why do some schools NOT tolerate disruption, and WHY are those disproportionately upper class?
What do you all think?
Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 12:51 pm
Personally, I suspect that lawsuits would not change a thing, and the only
thing that will make an impact on education in this country would be
more people choosing to homeschool.
just my 2 cents,
Posted: Wed Dec 13, 2006 2:37 pm
Lawsuits solve very little, since the taxpayer ends up footing the bill, not the person who caused the problem in the first place. What is needed is a change to the public school system that allows parents to choose which school their kids go to - private or public - and therefore also the federal / state funds. Schools that did a good job and catered to the wishes of the parents would quickly expand, while schools that refused to get rid of the bad apples would quickly die. The main problem with the public school system right now is just a total lack of competition, and therefore no motivation to improve.
Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:00 pm
Theodore, you mention competition. Competition has places where it does not belong, and one such place is childrens' springboard into life. Public schools are about an equal, level playing field. They shouldn't be scrapped. They are essential to what America is.
Competition would mean some kids would end up in inferior schools, and that would create an American caste system.
Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:59 pm
Lonz wrote:Theodore, you mention competition. Competition has places where it does not belong, and one such place is childrens' springboard into life. Public schools are about an equal, level playing field. They shouldn't be scrapped. They are essential to what America is.
Competition would mean some kids would end up in inferior schools, and that would create an American caste system.
which is what we have now without competition.
Competition would drive all of them to do better, which would help
all the kids.
Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:00 am
Competition is what fuels improvement. Right now, almost everyone in the public school system is getting a lousy education, and while under school vouchers there would still be better schools and worse schools, the whole point of vouchers is that all the money goes to the schools offering the best possible education in a certain area. Over the first year or so of transition, the worst schools would all die and be taken over by the best schools, with the upshot being that everyone gets a better education.
An "equal playing field" is impossible, unless you follow the communist way of doing things, which is to make everything equally lousy. Short of an equal playing field, you can at least guarantee that each area has the best schools possible given the funds available to it. Control of funding must be in the hands of the parents for this to happen, since if there's no penalty for failure (losing your funding to other schools), then there's no motivation for improvement. I think everyone will agree that there's massive room for improvement in the US educational system.
Just wanted to ad my .02c about competition in Public school
Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 10:26 am
Or the lack of it...
To give you a background first -
For many years my eldest DS had a difficult time at school. Not just academically but personally as well. Kindergarten was a complete nightmare for him... I won't get into details. 1st grade improved a little, but with this issues that occurred the year before, he was lacking and still is effecting his self-confidence in school.
This year, 2nd grade, he was finally behving more like the little boy I know he is at home. Not 100%, but not as low as in the past. He came home with his 1st quarter report card. Knowing him as I do, and knowing how his confidence really waivers in school I was not expecting a great report card. I was expecting average. C's and B's.
I opened his report card to 3 A's, 1 B and 1 C (a 3.4 GPA for the quarter). I began crying, I was so proud of him (and I still am). His confidence level shot WAY up.
2 weeks later, we attended the district 2nd grade award ceremony. I was NOT going to miss it if my life depended on it (not that I have ever missed any of the past ceremonies/assemblies). In the district we have approximately 100 2nd graders.
DH and I were sitting down and listened as they named the honor roll students (Note I typed honor roll in lowercase). Out of the 100 children in 2nd grade in our district. 90% were awarded honor roll. Out of that 90% about 30% of those students made High honors (straight A's).
The teachers behaved as if the students of this district were exceptionally and outstandingly brilliant, I am sorry, I do not buy that. Anyway, they called each child to stand and to continue standing until every recipient was named. There were about 10 students that remained sitting. I know at least 4 of those families personally and learned that their students did not recieve anything above a C on their report cards.
Anyway, my point is, the school system is teaching our children that HONOR ROLL is no AVERAGE. You are an Average student if you make the honor roll, or you are nothing.
I recall in grade school and high school, being on the HONOR ROLL was a complete HONOR. You had to WORK HARD for that HONOR, it was not handed to you because the district wanted to make its numbers look good in accordance with the "No Child Left Behind" BS that Bush has implemented.
Anyway, my belief is that every person needs competition in their lives in order to suceed. I am not talking about the Soccer parent that beats the heck out of the coach for benching their child, I am talking good, old fashion, hard work earned, confidence building competition.
Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 2:37 pm
Yep, if everyone is special, then nobody is. Prizes should be few and hard to get, not given to 90% of the school (or even 10%).
Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 4:46 pm
Thank you for sharing that Jen..
And I believe you are quite right on the matter.
Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 6:38 pm
Competition is great. However living in a state that has competition, it has to be dealt with correctly. MCAS suck! I am so glad we don't have to take them. They are so stressful and our normally very social, and vibrant school is turned into a stressful and uninviting setting when the MCAS are being taken. They take needed teachers away from students because they require so much staff for students to take them. The choice should be in the hands of the parents, they know what they are getting out a school, (or should know) PUtting competition in the hands of the state is the worst idea ever!
Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:58 am
I think, if that's the worst of your stories you got off easy. Try a school with the same sort of person running the show but sending back kids who swear, bite, hit, punch, molest, sometimes even stab the teachers with scissors. Schools who keep children back until they have 14 year old boys in with 10 year old girls, because they failed a test. Schools where they can't send the kids to the bathroom because they will bust it up to flood the school.
As a sub I would assume you understand that the principal, if his numbers dip could lose his job. He could get turned down for other, better schools if he can't keep his numbers up. And as a school who must follow the rules, he can only get so many kids in trouble before he starts getting docked. If you must blame someone, blame the people who made these ridiculous rules to begin with. I'll tell you what, he and his buddies are sitting in Washington and their little prince and princesses have never been affected by any laws they have passed.
Nothing will help these schools, least of all lawsuits. The reason is not the teachers or even the principal who wants his numbers to shine. Besides the lawmakers, It's the parents that think nothing of sending their children into a school that allows this behavior. Once they change their behavior, the schools will be forced to change theirs. But as long as the school know that 99% of their parents could care less what goes on in the lives of their children, he knows he has a free hand to send whoever he wants back to class.
Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 1:20 pm
Theodore wrote:Yep, if everyone is special, then nobody is. Prizes should be few and hard to get, not given to 90% of the school (or even 10%).
Gee, wasn't that the point of The Incredibles? *sigh* it is one of the reasons I am going to have to fully assess my son when we pull him out; I really have no idea of what, if naything, he has learned in school and fear I may have to start all over again from the beginning.
Jane in MN
Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:04 pm
That's one of the reasons I don't want my kids in public school. This sounds horrible but I don't want him on a level playing field. Level playing fields help lower performing kids, that's true, but it also stifles gifted kids and forces them to perform at the level of the lowest performing students. Each child should be encouraged to perform to their potential - not held back because it may hurt the self-esteem of other students who don't perform as well. I want my son to be proud of what he has achieved/can achieve - not be made to feel guilty for being capable of certain things other kids may or may not be capable of. That's the single most harmful thing going on in the school system today, IMO. Forcing to work at the same level so we preserve self-esteem. Self-esteem fostered in that system is an illusion - true self-esteem comes from working hard to achieve something you've been trying to accomplish and succeeding. It does nothing to encourage kids of all abilities to work to their full potential and it holds kids of higher potentials down. I don't want my kids to be the kids who are held down. It sounds harsh, I realize that but so is holding kids back who are otherwise capable of so much more in the name of "equality" and "fairness". Not everyone gets to win a prize or be the best and to give that label to so many people - cheapens it for everyone so that it means nothing.
Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:37 pm
I do think that everyone has the potential to be good in at least one thing, the problem is that the grade level system tends to prevent specialization until you get to at least high school, and sometimes college. Given that college and the business world are all about specialization, this gives homeschooling a huge advantage over public schooling. I mean, if you're able to handle college-level material at age 11, why not go for it?
Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 7:03 pm
I do think that everyone has the potential to be good in at least one thing