Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The 4 D's of Our School System...





I know that I've posted before on our current public educational system and my dislike for it. After meeting with my children's Kindergarten teacher, I am truly discouraged. While the kids got excellent report cards, I feel that what they are actually being "taught" is how to take a test. This is for the testing that they will eventually have to take a few years down the road. You see, thanks to NCLB, the public schools are all about testing. The are about "accountability" and "achievements." The want to get their "report cards" up there in the scores, so they are teaching our children how to take a test. Now, I'm not against taking tests. However, when you stop teaching the child to think for themselves, there is a problem. When you stop teaching a child correct spelling, and just letting them spell as they sound it without correction, I believe that there is a problem. When, what matters most, is my child being able to finish a test of "nonsense words" in a timely matter instead of the ability to read actual words for themselves, that to me is a problem.

There is disorder in the way our children are being taught in the public school systems. They are constantly spending big bucks to "consultants" to come in and change the way teachers teach. They are not actually allowed to teach anymore, rather they are to follow certain benchmarks within a specified amount of time. They must meet their benchmarks. Now, what this means for my children is that they end up spending over a month studying the same thing. They are absolutely bored after a couple of weeks of hearing about the same subject. You understand, they are not encouraged to extend the study of the subject in the classroom, rather they must hear the same thing over and over. (kind of like you're doing now.) Why, you ask. Well, because that way, the students that are too busy stabbing each other with pencils or hitting others in the head will be able to learn it too. Screw having those disrupting the class held accountable for their actions, let's just nicely ask them to stop and hope it works.

I feel that today's public education has derogated what education should be about. (I also feel that way about today's organized religions, but that's another post.) It is no longer about the actual learning process, rather about what the school's numbers are. It is no longer about my child, rather about my child's testing ability and what that can do for the school's funding.

I kid you not when I say that my heart is heavy thinking about my children's future in the public educational system. Perhaps that's why there's so many homeschooling books strewn through my house right now. I don't take their education lightly, and to tell the truth, I'm not sure I want the responsibility of that on my shoulders should I decide to take that route. However, it's more alarming to think of what lies ahead of them if they stay the course they're on.

Take care - Me.


Lo said...

Is changing teachers an option? No, it won't address the bigger issues that exist in the educational system, but it might let you see a different view. When you are lucky enough to have a good teacher, the problems with the educational system itself seem to fade into the background. A good teacher can figure out how to teach the kids in spite of the rules that tie her hands. A bad teacher uses the federal guidelines as an excuse for why she "can't" do more. A fifth "D": Disappointing.

Marcus said...

Dealing with the educational bureaucracy is a constant struggle, usually ending with disappointment. There is no concern for individual students outside of their classroom, and sometimes (as is probably the case with your teacher) not even there. The principal couldn't care less, because they are much too busy beggin for money and defending their teachers, because there CERTAINLY couldn't be a sub-par teacher under their watch.

The only good news I can offer is that it has been my experience that the children are learning skills much earlier than we did. I am frequently amazed at this fact, and I hope that you have the same surprise soon.

Of course, it will help WHEN you move and can pick a new school district before you choose to live in it.