Friday, July 22, 2016

I Went to Public School

In one of the speeches at the convention the speaker took a few minutes to bash the public school system in America, blaming it, apparently, for the ills of the country.

I don't know the reason for the angst, but I do know that I'm a product of the public school system.

Most of the people I know, also were veterans of the public school system.

Why the attack on it now?

The speaker took a few minutes to bash teachers and tenure. The speaker was a private school attendee and extolled the virtues of his privileged upbringing.

There are a few things I do know though:

1). Teachers deserve praise and they deserve to be paid like professionals.

I had some great teachers. As a teenager, I respected them...and I learned plenty. I had four great English teachers. I loved the subject, of course, but they took the time to teach me. The effort was there...their effort and mine.

There were teachers who turned into lifelong friends after school was over. Many days, I think back on some of the lessons learned...some 30-some years later.

2). Short Days & Summers off.

The dedicated teachers put in way more time than you think.

You think teaching is easy, try standing in front of a room-filled of people on a day when you haven't pre-planned. I taught a creative writing class for awhile and I tried to mail it in one evening...

...about ten minutes in I knew I was cooked.

There's time involved before the class, after the class. During the summer, over winter break.

And that's with an audience that wants to be there.

There are a lot of kids that don't want to be there.

Trying to teach them anything is nearly impossible.

3). Bare Bones.

Like anything else...

...if there's money there...

...someone will try and steal it.

What has happened that has crippled the public school system is that the money has been stripped.

At least from my point of view.

Teachers buying their own supplies.

Baseball teams sharing equipment with neighboring schools.

The budgets are tight.

The teachers, like a whole bunch of other working people, saw their wages freeze.

The quality of teacher has diminished.

Less pay, less motivation...

...and the ones who suffer?

The kids.

4). Separation.

It was sort of implied in the privileged speakers speech, but not actually said:

We have to separate people into their own little groups.

White kids with white kids.

Poor kids with poor kids.

Let's keep everyone in their own little worlds.

One of the truly educational things about attending public school is that there was some diversity.

I grew up in a small town.

We didn't have a lot of minorities.

But we had kids of all classes.

Middle-income kids, poor kids, kids of farmers, kids of professionals. We all got to know each other. We learned to interact.

Where am I going with this?

I don't know, actually.

I don't know where the speaker was going either.

Other than to complain, without offering a solution, the speaker simply bashed the public school system and said:

"It's broken."

Not sure that a man who was fed with a silver spoon should be the expert we consult on the state of the public school system.

It should probably be studied by someone who actually knows:

'Cause I don't think it's as broken as he might think.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

The system is flawed . Some kids get "gifted and talented " classes and others "general studies " based in their academic abilities.
I know because I had a kid in both . It tears self esteem down . When I went to public school we all had same class no matter what and you worked for your grade . City schools suck .... I know because the hard working nursing assistants who can't afford the cost of living rate in the county , send their kids to schools that are not as good as the county . It would be nice for them to be able to send their kids to a school close to where they are working each day . I personally also work with moms of kids with special needs and the " county" offers much better schools than the city . Trump wants everyone to be able to make a choice on what school they want to send their kids to , he didn't bash the system , just wants everyone accountable for their skills . Times today are very different from when we went to school.
Remember , they can't pray and they don't say the pledge anymore either . Trump wants America to be better than it is now .

Cliff Fazzolari said...

I'm not quite sure we can make anything better with hate, intolerance and negative thought. If we can fix it that way then I'll admit that I've been wrong on a number of accounts. The mood of the country is certainly darker than any of us have ever seen it, but I've never once seen general, broad statements of discord help to fix anything. Simply put, I had teachers who cared. I find it hard to believe that there still aren't some out there.

John said...

Could someone please show me a school that does not say the pledge? This is HUGE (to borrow a word) pet peave of mine. It is law in NY State that the pledge be recited daily. I don't know about other states but I have yet to be shown a school that does not say the pledge.

Cliff Fazzolari said...

That is one of the fake crisis' that is repeated over and over. It's the War on Christmas argument or the God is not allowed or the 'we can't fly the U.S. Flag' complaint.

I've lived nearly 52 years. I have never been told I can't say the pledge, or wave the flag or mention Jesus Christ. In fact, Christ's birthday is certainly widely celebrated in the open.

I have never actually meant anyone who's rights were stepped on in that regard...but it's something that people truly feel threatened by.

I don't get it.

Cliff Fazzolari said...

Met...not meant!

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