Thursday, September 01, 2011
We talk a good talk in education about meeting the needs of students, but in reality, too often, we do a really great job of setting the stage for our students to fail, or at the very least, struggle. It seems not only the politicians have forgotten the purpose of public education is to educate ALL students, but teachers and adminstrators have forgotten our higher purpose along the way as well.
We worry an awful lot about contracts and insurance, meeting federal/state regulations for course names, which textbook is the best, which classroom teachers will teach in, the shiny floor in the lobby to welcome folks, the latest and greatest technology, schedules, and filling out paperwork.
Maybe all those things ARE important... but none of them are as important as our number one priority: OUR STUDENTS. Schools(and the politicians driving educational reform) need to take a step back and look at what really matters: teaching kids. Not just teaching kids the 'curriculum' (insert heavy sarcasm here) but teaching kids that THEY matter, that they are our customers, and we are here for them, to serve them, to help them, guide them... to become productive members of our society as a whole.
There does need to be a 'common core' of knowledge imparted in public education. A high school diploma ought to mean the same something regardless of where you graduate and earn that piece of paper. But getting that core of knowledge shouldn't come at the expense of common sense and compassion for our students.
Until the adults in education grow up and step up, we, as a nation, are doomed... our educational system is broken, and instead of working to make it better, we are complacent, content, and lack the guts to step up and make a difference.
Shame... shame.. shame on everyone involved. ME, included.... As the 2011/2012 school year starts, let's take a stand for students. Let's make educating THEM our priority again.