Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Times: All schools are failing

The New York Times has a different take on last week's release of an educational study that indicates there is little difference in performance between public schools and private schools: All schools are failing.
Though obviously there are problems in schools, maybe the drop in educational success by our students can be at least partially attributed to some other factors:
-Cable, satellite TV, computer games, and Internet. While these things all have educational value, they are generally not used that way.
-The increasing number of children who come from families where drug abuse or physical or sexual abuse takes place.
-The ever-increasing number of broken families
-Children who are shuttled from one school to another sometimes three or four times in a single year, losing ground at each stop.
-Lack of parental involvement in their children's education. Every teacher has horror stories of dealing with parents who have no interest whatsoever in their children's school performance. Check the low turnout at parent-teacher conferences, especially at the middle school and high school levels.
Public schools have problems, no doubt about it, but any proposed solutions that ignore societal problems are doomed to fail.


Anonymous said...

Randy - you forgot one other reason why our schools are "failing." You forgot the stupid bureucracy of politicians and how they try to "fix" the problems of schools. If they would stay out of it, perhaps everyone wouldn't be left behind!

Also, I find it interesting how many politicians are the so-called "experts" in our public educations system. They know NOTHING about education and yet they are making crucial decisions that impact our educational system. I wish so much they would step foot in a class room once in a while and actually see the problems we face. Perhaps if they taught a week, they might see things differently.

Perhaps if politicians kids went to public schools, they might have a different perspective on things? There's a thought!

Anonymous said...

Remember when this blog used to be fun to read? It was more about local media criticism than Randy rewriting news stories in an effort to keep his reporting skills "fresh." I'm bored.

RepublicFamily said...

Randy -- Wow, you hit the nail on the head for the problems facing education. No matter how much money the government throws into a school budget it won't fix the family problems you mention and those are KEY.

Anonymous said...

While I can sympathize with your position, I think note should be taken of the fact that in most households both parents have to work full time jobs in order to pay the bills. I think it was different when Mom could still stay home, but that's just not realistic financially speaking. I'm not excusing people from helping their children with their homework and attending parent teacher conferences, but I can empathize with the position they often find themselves in. They're tired.

Children should be removed from their homes when drug abuse, physical abuse or sexual abuse is going on. No question about that.

As far as divorce? Parents are under a lot of stress nowdays. I'm not sure what you think could or should be done to prevent it?

Randy said...

You made some excellent points. Most families do have to have both parents working these days simply to make ends meet. That is why most school districts, including the Joplin R-8 School District, schedule two days of parent-teacher conferences. When we have conferences, they are scheduled from 3:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday after school, then from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. the following day. This provides ample opportunity for most parents to schedule conferences before or after work or to make arrangements. And many parents do take advantage of the flexible scheduling. I totally agree with your final statement. Children should be removed from homes in which those kinds of evil are present.