Saturday, August 12, 2006

Our Schools are Deplorable

When I was growing up...  education then didn't mean a high school diploma was going to net me that job I wanted.  I had no means to get a college education, and being female the Army was not a option either.  So I was stuck in the grind of getting a job where I could, at the best factory there was in town.  I busted my ass for eight years, and all I have to show for it is the memory of working there.  The plant moved to Mexico, and my dreams of staying with one job till I retired was taken from me.   School then didn't hardley mean nothing to a female in my earlier years.  Home Economics was pushed down our throats by our families and school.  It was a fact of life back then.  The late 60's and early 70's was still much a man's world.   
Today's schools are different. They tell a child from day one "You can be what ever you want to be." But that saying is soon squashed as the child ages, and reaches high school. The schools themselves fail the students. It's a poor excuse coming from our Politicians, and local City Commerce whom claim our schools are at a all time low, and in deplorable condition everywhere all over the USA.  States all over our Nation have thrown up their arms, and said "I don't know what to do." They all say the same thing... "Finding a fix, and the money to update them is the hardest part." 
I saw a Oprah Winfrey show a few weeks back that showed what some schools are having to endure.  If I was the one responsible for the schools in America I would be ashamed of myself.  Before you go say I am responsible, back off...  I pay taxes just like you do.  It's not my fault that our schools are left to each county/city to be taken care of, and the State funding has been cut many times over. It is also not my fault that the school systems are using the same ideology to fund, and teach students as they did in the fifties.  
The area I live in should not affect my education. They shouldn't be limiting the students just because of where they live! Plain and simple.  It should be a State wide effort.  If I had my way with it, each State would pool their school tax money together, along with the State funding and then put the money where it needs to be.  Hell with this County and city crap.  It's not working and truly is not fair to the students whom live in your poor neighborhoods.  Not when you have one State of the art public school, and another public school that has needed repairs for years, and new books, and both public schools are a few miles from each other.  Something is wrong with that picture. 
Bill Gates quoted this: "Low-income and minority students, are tracked into courses that won't ever get them ready for college or prepare them for a family-wage job ... Either we think they can't learn, or we think they're not worth teaching."
How does this happen?  Because the States allocated each school district a certain amount of money based on the cost of living for "taxes for that area".  So your poor sections get less money for school because of taxes collected.  Naturally an area that is poor will have a poor school too. While your rich sections get the state of the art school facilities and courses. There is not enough money in the poor districts for them to buy the books, upgrade the schools, and hire the teachers, much less fix the schools.  
The schools have used the same methods to teach and get financing for the last um say fifty years?  Give or take a few years. 
 Funding for schools should be a State wide effort, it enables every school to have the same amount of money that the next school has.  It makes sure they are up to date with everything the child needs to get their education.  Pool the taxes collected for each school district together, and divide it equally among ALL schools.  So that every district has the money they need.  No one is left behind because all the schools are up to date, and are teaching the same curriculum.  It doesn't matter if Johnny moves, because the schools are in synch with each other.  Get rid of the teachers that don't know their stuff.  test them, and do a background check on them either once a year, or every two years.  Hire teachers that have what it takes.  Get rid of the courses that don't ready a child for College. High school years are College prep all the way.  
Am I biased towards teachers?  No we have lots of teachers that deserve their jobs.  But to be sure a teacher knows their stuff, and how to teach it to the students, will guarantee our children are not left behind.  Bringing our schools into the 21st Century will allow any child the opportunity to go to College.  This is what every parent, and guardian wants for the children in their care.  No school's funding should dictate if a student will go to College, neither should the books, and courses taught should dictate if a child goes to College.  This should be left up to the student, and their family.  I know of no parent or guardian that expects any less of the child in their care. Most parents will tell you that they never knew their schools in the area they live in were not up to curriculum speed with the Colleges. 
The state of the art schools will balk at this idea because after all, they feel more deserving.  They earned the privilege to send their child to a public school that they have helped support with taxes.  Well thats fine...  Jim Dandy...  But what if you lost your home to diviorce, or a major layoff next month, and you had to move and transfer your child to one of the less favorable schools?  Ah!  Education...   Easy come, easy go. 

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