Sunday, March 7, 2010

I’m through

Obama just lost me. His embracing the firing of all of the teachers at a Rhode Island school is simply wrong. It's defying the facts for some stupid political point. A political stunt that will do irreparable harm to schools and students all over this country as dim witted school boards see an opportunity to balance their budgets by firing all of their teachers and starting over with poorly paid new teachers. You don't think so? Then you don't know diddly about school boards. They are most often run by bureaucrats that have no interest in students and have never seen the inside of a classroom. That's what happens in large districts and I know whereof I speak; I taught for the Los Angeles City School District. In small towns, they are usually run by long time local families that use the school board to give them health insurance. They never see the schools, they simply show up at board meetings to make certain they don't lose their insurance. I also know about that as well; personally! That's school reality. You want to know why there is a teacher's union? Because there are school boards. You think there is any virtue in the two groups? Very little - as they spend their time fighting instead of addressing the problem with schools all over this country. Parents. Parents who consider the school and the teacher to be their baby sitter. Parents who will not teach their children manners and common courtesies. Parents who won't or can't see that their children are fed and clothed before sending them to school. Parents who think that 'magic' will buy the supplies and paint the room and fix the heaters and the leaky roof. Magic, indeed! Taxes; money pays for those things and nobody wants to pay. This country has abandoned the public schools and their responsibility to this institution. There is no longer any equality in education. The wealthy, and I'm talking about Republicans in general, have sent their children off to charter schools or private schools and now consider the public school to be a drain on their wealth. They are unwilling to face their responsibility to society as a whole. And Obama thinks that firing a bunch of 'baby sitters' will fix the problem? Take a look at the test scores at that Rhode Island school in about 4 or 5 years and you will see the exact same results as you see today unless there is a sea change in the way society views their responsibilities. I doubt it will happen.

Here's what I would love to see…a nationwide exodus of school teachers. A nationwide call for education majors in colleges and universities to change their majors to something worthwhile.


  1. Boy, do I see both sides of this one! I've got personal experience with a large school district in a state that's ranked very low nationally on standardized tests and has been struggling to pull itself out of the mud for years. You're bingo on the nature of school boards! But, in our area, there's also some of the same kind of "show up and keep the insurance" mentality among the teachers. Doesn't it just figure, isn't it just par for the course, that this extreme sort of test of policy would turn up RIGHT NOW for Obama?! Neither he nor we can catch a break. His decision is consistent with his insistence on accountability in education, and that's the best I can say for it.

    Another Obama fan becomes disenchanted and I'm sorry to see it; I'm hanging onto my enchantment by my fingernails!

  2. Nance; I would bet that your experience and mine are repeated all over this country...except for a dedicated few, all, that's parents, teachers and administrators have forgotten what they are there for. And I place the most blame on the parents who are not at the board meetings...let's see; with a school of 400 students you should see at least 350 parents at a board meeting. Shouldn't you?
    And regarding accountability...did Obama approve the firing of any administrators? No, teacher's are an easy target and parents love to blame them for the things that Johnny can't do...ever hear of a parent blaming an administrator for the fact that Johnny can't read? In a room with 35 other children and ten year old books; with only half the lights on? And no heat? Are teachers supposed to be perfect? By the way, I haven't taught in over 35 years; I knew a losing proposition when I saw it and continued my career as a carpenter.