Something to Think About…

a sad truthThis is a bit of a rant…

What’s the problem here?

I know this poster simplifies a lot, but it does bring up a good point. In the US (and possibly other countries), it seems as though the public mindset glorifies athletes – amateurs and professionals – but don’t feel the same way about teachers (at least in the public school system). Professional athletes have their fair share of problems too – risk of serious bodily injuries, contract issues, moving around a lot due to trades, etc. But even with their share of problems, professional athletes are guaranteed a well-paying, stable job for 4-6 years. Teachers, on the other hand, worry about whether the school has enough money to stay open, keep them on staff, or the constant threat of a lawsuit by parents who think they child is being “mistreated” in some way.

Educational reform is necessary.

The public educational system doesn’t seem to be a high priority in current American political culture. Schools are being de-funded and with limited resources, cannot provide adequate facilities, updated textbooks (or switch to ebooks), or keep teachers on for more than a year. There are many schools in the public school system, especially in the poorer districts, that show little to no student performance improvement. Meanwhile, richer school districts can afford new facilities and textbooks, and continually high student performance. It’s good that these students do well, and it’s realistic to know not every student will perform at the same level. There is an inherent inequality within student learning abilities and performance, but I also think that some of that inequality stems from a lack of funding.

The times we see state or city governments (even the national government) involved in educational reform, is when we read about political or religious groups wanting to sneak-in their own agendas (i.e. “intelligent design”, “Abstinence only sex ed). Those kinds of groups should stay out of public education and stick to private institutions if they want to push their own agendas. They aren’t doing it to help the students, but tell them what to think instead of how to think.

School boards push for longer school days, shorter breaks between classes, less PE/recess and more maths and science. Parents, who are vital to the educational process, at times think they have authority within the school building (they don’t; their authority stops when the students step inside the school doors); and teachers have become more or less a babysitter of sorts.

The whole system is a mess, but change is slow. I just feel bad for the students, they’re usually the victims of educational politics.

Leave a comment

Filed under Education, Education Reform, Inequality, Teaching, The United States, Thinking

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s