It is unfortunate that politics and education are like oil and water——or are poor bedfellows—-or simply don’t speak the same language . You choose your label.
Understanding that state tax money supports public schools and understanding that (again ) HE WHO HAS THE GOLD RULES , and understanding that state and national politicians , by the very nature of their positions, go along to get along———and to get re-elected , I find the process/protocol flawed. There are exceptions, of course, and I admire and respect them and find that most local elected officials are——well, local ——– meaning that they have an up-close and personal view and make decisions accordingly. IT IS NOT THE LOCAL LEVEL I AM REFERENCING ……………..
A very wise man once said to me, ” To ensure a successful outcome , the program MUST mandate the money——–not the other way around “. In following education bills under consideration ( some passed already ) at the state level, this is not the way our legislators are thinking. Otherwise, LESS attention would go to special agendas .
So although we have a system in place that only allows educated, certified people to teach our children—–and a system in place to have an elected local School Board to make policy—–and open door policies which allow any (and all ) parents to have access to their own child’s curriculum, teachers, grades, schedules, extracurricular activities, and any other pertinent information , there is still pressure on our legislators to do more. We have PTAs, parent committees , parent volunteers, mentoring opportunities, classroom and lunchtime visits, open School Board meetings , etc. NO MATTER, parents are still badgering state politicians for more laws that give them more influence and many of these laws are simply repetitive. I sometimes wonder if the idea is to toss all professionals out of the school system and bring the parents in !
HOWEVER ( don’t you love ” howevers ” ? ), perhaps public education needs to be re-defined. Throwing out some questions, some that I may support and some that I wouldn’t. But it’s food for thought.
RE-DEFINING EDUCATION (?)
Should the 12th grade be eliminated since we have added two classes before the 1st grade ( making 14 total ) plus offering students the opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school ?
Should we continue to be standardized ? Does everyone fit the same pattern ?
Should schools that our kids attend always be defined by county lines ?
Should the arts and music have a larger presence in public education, thereby bringing both beauty and integrity to our world ?
What about our young geniuses ( and there are many ) who are stuck in a quagmire of EVERYBODY of a defined age staying together for 12+ years ?
And how much book-learning is positive and how much is negative for our hands-on classes ?
Shouldn’t we continue to uphold and respect those who have achieved degrees, ( BS, AB, Masters, Specialists, Doctorates ), because of the long journey and perseverance it took to achieve this standing and the knowledge it represents ?
And what about our locally elected school boards ? Don’t they bring to the table the needs and wants of the parents in the community ?
And what is the solution to uneducated parents who feel threatened by the better educated ( the ” haves ” and ” have- nots ” if you will ) ?
And on the other end of the spectrum, what about those in the field of educating our students who think they know it all ?
And is there an answer to those in the schoolhouses who feel threatened by people who DO know more than they ?
And last , but not least, are there answers ??????
My passion lay in education for 30+ years and still does. I served as a parent volunteer, teacher, school board member, assistant principal, and principal . I feel that I have been there and done it all, almost, and I have no answers. But this I do believe : let doctors diagnose the illnesses and heal the sick, let preachers preach the gospel and save the sinner, let law enforcement work the crime scenes and uphold the law, let bankers tend to finances and balance the checkbook——-AND LET EDUCATORS SHARE THEIR HARD-EARNED KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE AND TEACH OUR CHILDREN !
( Please feel free to comment and/or share——or both ! And thank you all for reading ).
Oh I so agree. I think the kids are the losers in these fights.
Special interests are killers in the world of politics !
Well said, my good friend!
Jerri, you are always so supportive of my meanderings—–and such a dear and special friend !
Diane, once again you are dead on. Thanks for your insight.
And thank you for your opinion. This has been heavy on my heart for a long, long time. Hope your weekend is good and the squirrels and coons leave your bird feeders alone !!!!!
Diane as always you bring great perspective. If we spent more time letting educators do what’s best for children and less time grinding axes , everyone would benefit.
Your comment means so much to me ! Thank you. As you can tell, my passion still lies with the schools, the faculty, the staff and the students. What a ride…………..
I once asked our local state representatives if they would pledge to vote against any new mandates for public schools until they could vote yes to fully fund education. They did not appreciate the question.
Everyone has gone to school so it’s a common experience. Therefore, everyone thinks they know what is best for education. You and I know it really is a professional business and everyone does NOT know what is best. They rarely tell the doctor or the dentist or the surgeon how to do their job but they are quick to tell the educator. Sigh! You and I have had so many, many conversations like this over wine and popcorn. It feels like old times reading your blog. Kudos! Love, Ruth
Right on ! Right on ! You have said it simply while I wandered on and on.
Being retired simply gives us more time to think, never taking away the passion.
Thank you for all you have given to thousands of children through the years, but, especially, thank you for being my BSS !!!!