The State of Our Education System
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” -Chinese Proverb
The state of our education system is a hot mess. I can’t pinpoint exactly when it started to decline but it was probably somewhere in the 90s: when cell phones were invented, home computers became available, and the internet started to take over our lives. We are supposed to be the most advanced country in the world yet our children cannot read or do math, science and social studies are a mystery to them, and they cannot pass the mandatory exams to move onto the next grade level.
What went wrong?
From what I see a lack of care or concern on the part of the parents, blazé attitudes about teaching and learning on the part of the teachers, and policy makers that have never set foot in a classroom are killing the chances our students have of succeeding in school and in life.
When did parents stop caring enough to help with homework and school projects? When did they stop caring if their child misbehaves at school or skips class? Down in Houston and in cities across the country, armed policemen patrol the halls of elementary, middle and high schools. Originally, or at least I hope this is the case, these officers were placed on campus to ensure that another Columbine shooting would never happen again but unfortunately we can see that that hasn’t stopped. Rampant hate and violence, disobedience and disrespect, and lack of care or concern for their future has caused students to act out in school and defy all authority figures in sight. So, in light of the new attitudes of the students, the police officers and administrators have stepped up their game as well.
Punishment for all...
Kindergarteners are being suspended and expelled for bad behavior, disrespect and truancy... Kindergarteners!! They have no respect for themselves, their teachers or their peers. In high schools across the country high school students are being hauled out of their classrooms in handcuffs for dress code violations and truancy along with violent offenses and disrespect for their teachers and admins.The smallest sign of disobedience or defiance brings swift and harsh punishments for all ages, hoping to make an example of these students for the rest of the school to see. We are making them living martyrs for their peers to look up to, not curbing the desires to disobey and cause trouble. So why are we surprised that the problems are not stopping but increasing rapidly?
Where are the teachers?
Where are the caring, passionate teachers who used to be seen throughout every grade level? It is simple... they went to college and majored in science or history and when they couldn’t find a job in their field they decided to teach. The government did not help this situation when they promised to pay off the teachers student loans in exchange for 5 years of teaching.They have no passion for teaching and no love for their students. They simply teach to the test, however they have no background, experience or formal training to do so successfully. They sic the cops on problematic students, and send those with the slightest performance issues to remedial classes and special needs. Any sign that the student will cause problems gets them sent out of the classroom, possibly never to return.
The system is fraught with problem areas that at this point are so bad the seem insurmountable. We have thrown our hands in the air and given up. We have dug ourselves into such a deep pit and we brought our students along with us. How did we let it get this bad?
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