Figuring out life...slowly.

I feel life is either a grand adventure or a never-ending tunnel of doom. I am trying to find a middle. Somewhere.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I get so tired of sitting in meetings and listening to our educational system being compared to Indian/Chinese educational programs. The one thing that irritates me most is our systems are not equitable. We educate all our populace. We educated the females, the males, the learning disabled, the physically disabled, the poor, the homeless, the unwilling, the disenfranchised, the foreigners and everyone in between. I have students in my class that don't have a home. I have students in my class with drug-addicted parents. I have students in my class that take up oxygen and stare blankly at a wall. I have students that are learning disabled.

The Chinese don't educate their total populace. Boys get more education than girls. The rich get more education than the poor. And, I am fairly positive, the autistic and the learning disabled get little to no education. The autistic child is busy in a slave labor camp making Wal-Mart products for us to buy. The unwilling to learn are allowed to drop out of school.

So, when I hear that we need to be more like the Chinese or the Indians, it angers me. It infuriates me. Our educational system has issues. Huge issues. All the comparisons to other nations won't solve those issues. Nor will testing or increased teacher education solve our issues. Increased funding won't solve our issues and longer school days won't, either.

My core belief, after teaching and having children in the public school, is educational reforms is not the way to fix our educational problems. The way to fix it? Children can not be educated to their full potential when do not have shelter. They can not be educated fully when they are hungry or they are in pain. I have students that float from house to house each week. I have students that need wisdom teeth taken out but can't afford it. They suffer from migraines but they can't afford the medication.

I am not suggesting a public welfare state but let's focus on educational reforms along with addressing the underlying social issues that students face each day. I have students, that if I had their life, I don't know if I could go to school every day. We must realize school is not just about teaching, learning, and test scores. It is also about what kids bring to the classroom-messy issues, hunger, fragmented family lives, addiction, lack of shelter and lack of health care. Let's acknowledge we educate our whole populace and many countries don't. Let's look at everything and then try to fix our system.

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