Thursday, April 14, 2011

On the soapbox....Part {?}

I am breaking out the old soap box again tonight.
This time when I am up here I will be talking about public education.
Public Education has been taking gigantic cuts...and when there is no money, one should
not be surprised.
The thing that bothers me in all of the press coverage, is that
when these cuts are discussed and announced by politicians, they (the politicians)
seem so proud of themselves...like they have just punched the bully in the gut
or something...
Public Education seems to take a licking quite often.
In the news...it is constantly criticized...teachers, principals are portrayed as these
incompetent, lazy, non-caring, ignorant, overpaid, good for nothings...that is how the news
portrays schools--unless it's a {feel good} piece about the hard A$$ who came
in and {fixed} some terrible schools....so cliche.
For someone who does not know any better, the whole system just seems awful.
The truth is, however, that the system is not awful.
A public school system has its inherent pitfalls...
It serves the whole public--that means we take what shows up...
all the children who never get baths, who wake themselves up and put on pants that
are four sizes too big, the ones who watched their parents beat each other up last night,
their cousins smoking on the porch, who do not have bed times, whose
parents cannot read....the list goes on.
We take all of the children and try to move them on....to the best that each child can be.
Who is the (we) here, you might say...Susan, while you are up there fill in the pronouns please.
Well, we is all of the people in the school...the teachers, who have been educated in
four year universities so that they know how to educate a child (some parents do not
realize this).
We are the special education teachers who, for the most part, have gone to six years of school to learn
how to educate children...
Librarians--not for much longer...
Cafeteria workers--who have to be financial managers and health and safety experts.
Custodians--who also have to be sweet all day to children who are wild and just dirty. :)
That is what the public school is...
Does the public have a right to expect certain levels of achievement...well, yes!
The public pays for the schools.
If the public thinks a particular school is terrible and sucky...well, I have a newsflash...
the school is made up of the people from right there around you...you can run out of the building if you want
but usually the building is not what makes the school sucky.

So, on this whole rant..one of my least favorite types of schools is charter schools.
This is a school which can be started up by any who ever who thinks they can do it better
--Educate the public--
than the ones who are already in charge.
The ones who are in charge have been teachers for a long time, have PhDs in education etc...
This person could be the manager at Food Lion one day, and write a school charter the next.
and then Boo yah!  our tax dollars go to fund it.

That is sort of like --the dentist does a crappy job filling a tooth--so I get mad and I decide that
I am going to be a dentist and open a dentist office, never mind that my training is
to be a Speech Pathologist...and then
I apply for a license and b/c that other dentist messed up a filling--
the board gives me one---oh yeah, b/c getting mad means I can now do dental work...
Don't you want to come to my clinic????

Does that seem even real to y'all.... it happens ...every day...
The NC legislature wants it to happen even more--and have very high limits of
funding..they want lots of charters to be written..??? !!!
Not the dentist example--the schools one..
Other professions do not get beaten up on the way the profession of
being an educator does...so interesting to me.

So when I was writing this post in my head this afternoon I was driving in my car--on the soap
box in the car--talk about multi-tasking...I was also singing Taylor Swift at the same time.
The whole thing boiled down to values...
Our society does not value education.  It simply does not.
That is fine...we should just be honest with ourselves about it.
Someone might say, but oh yes! I do, I value education...I send my children to the best
school, or i read to my children each night...etc etc...
But that does not constitute valuing education from where I stand (on my soap box).
Valuing education means wanting the population, as a whole, to be as educated as it
can be.....Trusting the people have have invested their time, money, and passion
into a career of educating children....uplifting these people and regarding them respectfully.
Public education means not just your own children--sino--all of the children.
That is why our founding fathers did things like start up public libraries...
PUBLIC.

Okay..this has been long and rambly enough...
So good night bloggy buddies..

2 comments:

Moore, Moore, Moore! said...

AMEN SISTER!!!!! Preach it baby! And btw, how did your coupon experience go????

Bethany said...

My favorite soap box yet! This should be a letter to the editor - seriously. Do it. How ever did the concept "public" get taken out of these places?? Best line: you take what you get, whatever part of the public shows up. Whew. As my granddaddy would say "tell it girl!"
PS I do not want you to be my dentist.