01 February 2012

Humpday Happenings...
Here we are again...middle of the week, BUT, the start of another month (which down here in the ghettohood, seems just like every other one).
Welcome to February (such as it is or will ever be - and don't forget to flip that calendar page over...lol).
Our local weatherman reminded us how on this day LAST year, we were socked by a wonderful winter snowstorm.
Wound up dumping a rather substantial amount of the white stuff on us here in the Heartland.
(BUT, it was QUIET around the "fortress"...for a f$cking change)
Today was going to be a post about one thing, but got side-tracked along the way, and got me thinking (always a dangerous thing) about several OTHER things...don'cha just hate when that happens?
I guess this "change-of-mind" happened last night when Mrs. Bobby G. heard on the police radio about ANOTHER one of her "students", (or as I prefer to call these specific teens "Astronauts-in-Training", because all they seem to WANT to do in her class is TAKE UP SPACE...) was being sought by the FWPD for running the hell away. Now, this is apparently the NEW "norm" for teens, and we can see the results (over at SLAMDUNK'S blog - he has a story about another runaway...good read).
But the really interesting aspect, was that THIS teen was on (prescript) MEDS...and apparently FWCS does not KNOW about it, or if they do, refuses to pass such information along to all those TEACHING him.
I want to believe the former, and not the latter.
We have drugged-up kids right alongside normal kids, who are right alongside other "problem" kids...and a teacher is supposed to teach a subject to ALL of the kids and the school system is expecting everyone to acquire this knowledge in the exact same manner???
Yeah, this is another "WTF???" moment.
We call this "mainstreaming" in the public school system, and it's part of the reason WHY the system is flawed.
Problem kids belong in special schools that can more fully address the particular needs of that student and whatever physical, emotional or psychological issues that arise, or have had earlier in life.
That's the way it USED to be done...and it worked pretty damn well.
But many times, it falls to the PARENTS to apprise the school OF such an issue...and, as is often the case, they DO NOT...or WILL NOT.
So, governments create voucher programs for charter or magnet schools that begin to pop up, and that causes a whole NEW set of problems.
The vouchers are often funded by monies that traditionally go to the public schools, so those schools LOSE funding.
The vouchers allow students to "jump" from the public system to a fairly PRIVATE system (which is solely a FOR PROFIT entity).
Again, the public schools LOSE...this time students.
So, that will cause a CUTBACK in the public systems, and we all know what that can mean.
But, we also see that some voucher schools are NOT performing AS WELL as their public system counterparts...
And around and around we go again...with the kids getting sick as dogs on this educational merry-go-round.
(which is being run by agencies with dollar signs in their eyes)
Makes for one helluva FUTURE in America, does it not?
I don't want to even think about what lies ahead say in forty years at THIS rate, 'cause it's not going to be pretty at all.
It would seem that these days, many in this nation HAVE adopted certain "standards" when it comes to educating our kids.
Most apparent is the wonderful DOUBLE STANDARD.
We can't have one correct method for doing anything any longer.
We usually have two...one for some, and one for the rest.
And many times, neither is the correct solution or method, but it IS convenient..and (hopefully) entertaining.
I mentioned in Monday's post how we seem to be going from ONE event to the next, and life becomes a montage or collage of "events", rather that personal aspects of LIVING.
In education, we USED to have a system that worked...more kids graduated, and with HIGHER percentages, less trouble was had in our schools on EVERY grade level, and hardly ANY of the kids in attendance were medicated out the wazoo.
Today, we can no longer make similar claims, can we?
It's like almost every week, someone (somewhere) is pushing a new direction, incentive, or program designed to HELP kids achieve.
And with very few exceptions, every one of those programs falls flat on it's ass...and still costs more and more money.
Now, I never claimed to be an educator, or sociologist, but I DO know what I see...and hear...and I can read quite well (thanks to an educational system that USED to work a lot better than what I see and read about today).
And yes, that includes the 12 years (plus 1 year of college) I spent behind a desk, LEARNING.
Add to that life experiences, both good and bad...being allowed to fail and then get the hell back up on my own, and get my sh*t back together and press on. The highs and lows of life can teach you much more than any classroom.
When you apply ALL these things, you can't help but see WHY things become as bad as they are.
I wouldn't go so far as to say the deck is stacked against our kids...just that the "dealer" needs to have BOTH his hands watched...VERY carefully.
This nation used to be a model of educational values and principles that others looked up to.
Now, we're a lot farther down the list of countries regarding student achievement, and we STILL spend MORE PER STUDENT than any other nation on the planet...astounding!
Why don't we just mimic those nations that HAVE a good educational system and glean what THEY are doing right, and then apply it HERE?
Is it because we might wind up coming back FULL CIRCLE, and find out that all the money and years wasted places us right back where we used to be? We shouldn't become that haughty in our complacency.
We should be able to admit our errors, and then set about making things right (again) for our kids...AND our future.
We need to "teacher-up", and get back to a lot more BASICS in the classroom, and some more accountability on the parental and administrative aspects of teaching.
A pyramid (or triangle) doesn't look so hot when it only has ONE or TWO sides that work...
Everyone needs to get right with this, because it IS about the kids more than it is about the almighty dollar.
And that's just something to think about.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.


Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the mention Bob.

Yeah, def problem there if not everyone is playing with the same info. I have a limited perspective of parents from previous generations, but it is discouraging to see the lack of parenting today.

The Mrs. does volunteer lunch duty over at our daughter's school and one of her classmates had brought in a bag of pills (no idea what they were)because she said she has to take one a day and forgets from time to time.

With a 5 year old, who am I supposed to be more angry at the confused kid or the clueless parents? Obviously, the latter.

And the spending per student certainly does not equate to good education--DC being a fav example.

Bob G. said...

Always like to give credit where it's due...and you do a GREAT job of bringing things to light!
(keep up the good work)

There is a serious "disconnect" between the parents, admins, and educators...and yet they (the gripers and drive-by media) ALWAYS want to point fingers at the TEACHERS FIRST...

That's like blaming the chicken when you screwed up that OMELET!

Sorry, that doesn't wash that well with me.

If a child requires care that goes beyond that found in any REGULAR classroom, then the SCHOOL needs to know, and then be able to place that child in a class where they CAN get whatever attention they might need, or whatever allowances they require due to medical (or other) issues.
Everything else (and anything less) is plain old BS!

(and THAT is why I will NEVER be able to teach in this life...lol.)

I'm a RULES for everyone (esp. those that NEED them) kinda guy.
Can'cha tell?

Thanks much for spending a little time here today to comment.

You roll safe out there.