So I’ve been watching the news, reading articles, listening to talk radio, and I am ALWAYS thinking to myself about my views while rarely getting to actually share them with anybody (not that anyone cares what I think, but I’ll tell you anyway). While doing all of this, I thought, “If Charlie Sheen can rant all he wants, then so can I.” I figured it’s my blog, I can say what I want. (I am an only child you know)
A lot is going on with education today. Before No Child Left Behind, the education system and teachers were well thought of. It wasn’t necessarily the teachers fault kids failed, the child was to blame. Along came NCLB, which states that every child that breathes must be able to pass a proficiency exam with flying colors. We can’t take into account that the child speaks limited English, misses an absurd amount of school (unless it’s ten consecutive days, which it never is), lives in extreme poverty (believe it or not, research has proven income level is a huge predictor in test scores), or any other factors that could cause the child to do poorly on an exam.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree with some testing. I think it keeps me on my toes, keeps me motivated to find exciting ways to teach children, etc. I don’t agree, however with all of the stress that they place on the teachers alone. The stress mind you is placed on the teachers of the tested subject. I’ve always taught a “tested subject”. I don’t know what it is like to not have my teaching and scores placed under a microscope. I pride myself on my teaching abilities so I don’t worry too much, but I have also taught in a school with a huge low-income population and high English as a Second Language population. While I taught to the best of my ability, there were just several students who had too many obstacles to move around that learning math was low on their priority list. Those are the teachers I am most concerned for as the deadline for NCLB proficiency approaches.
I’m not an idiot (at least by the common norms), I know that there are bad teachers out there. There are bad employees in the private sector as well. I’ve worked several different jobs in my life, and I have worked with terrible people who were not fired even though they should have. People like to say, “Teachers have it so good, you can’t fire a teacher.” Well as I’ve said, bosses have a hard time getting rid of bad employees. Bad teachers can be gotten rid of, that would be an administrator not doing their job.
Here’s my rant on public education vs. vouchers. My political views may end up stepping on toes in this rant, so please read with caution. My views are based on the type of life that I lead, the experiences that I have been through, my compassion toward helping others, my upbringing, and the brain that God gave me. It is my belief that the goal of the Republican party is to destroy public education. It is common knowledge that the Republican party promotes the wealthiest among us. It is common knowledge that the majority of wealthy people do (or would rather) put their children in private schools (away from all of the trash that could possibly infiltrate public schools, who accepts anyone regardless of race, gender, disabilities, religious beliefs, or income level). Now that Republicans have control over Oklahoma, public education is in jeopardy. Our newly elected Republican state superintendent of education’s only claim to education is that she founded two charter schools. She claims that private schools are good competition for public education. How is it competition when private schools and charter schools do not have to accept everyone. They can refuse to educate students based on any reason they want. If a child becomes a discipline issue, they kick them out for the public school to deal with. That is the end of my rant for today. Trust me, I have a lot more I would like to say.