- a huge increase in the number of students who are within the Autism Spectrum;
- high divorce rate and split families;
- violence in our communities that is unprecedented, making even our schools unsafe;
- an economy that has likely impacted families everywhere that undermines the safety and well being of the youth in desks before them;
- emotional, developmental, and learning disability needs;
- lack of technology to meet the 21st century requirements;
- some teachers do not even have textbooks for their students (they have to photocopy lessons and generally with a restriction on how much paper and copier use they have access to during the school year); and/or
- poor nutrition for students of all economic classes that affects learning and brain function.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I Am Confused! Blaming Teachers Is Like Blaming Privates for the War!
A quick note before I run to my next class: today's news broadcast that the state of California is issuing pink slips to 22,000 teachers, on top of the 16,000 laid off last year. This is not the only state facing this sort of difficult decision and who will suffer? Other teachers and all students!
I recently looked on line to see a news headline stating that the Kansas City School District is closing half of its schools due to budget issues and the economy. Additionally, I hear the President calling for greater accountability, proposing privatization of schools and more charter schools, as well as creating a climate of competition for much needed federal funds for effective education of our youth.
New York State schools are unexpectedly losing millions and millions of dollars in the middle of the school year because our state is nearly bankrupt and the state legislators are embattled once again.
I am a huge fan of our President but I think that the current education policy that this administration is developing is something that he has DEAD WRONG. How can teachers accomplish effective education of our youth as states are going bankrupt and the local and federal funding is so much less than is necessary to meet the needs?
Teachers are being blamed for so much beyond their own control.Teachers are expected to teach today's youth with an untenable challenge of:
We revere the tall man who can dunk or hit a ball and pay him mega-millions! We see physicians bill outrageous amounts for moments with us when we are sick. We see financial and insurance executives earn tens of millions in bonuses on top of their multi-million dollar salaries. Teachers who mold the minds of the future may earn $50K?! What?! And then those same teachers will spend hundreds of their own dollars to supply their students and classrooms with paper, pencils and pens, highlighters and markers, glue sticks, books, construction paper, rulers, instructional supplies and posters for their room, maybe even their own chalk to write on the blackboard. Add to it, tissues and hand sanitizer for the flu season that seems to be year round now.
I am confused. Department of Education Secretary Arnie Duncan and President Obama are placing the onus on the teacher. Do we blame the low-ranked enlisted man or woman for the course of any war? Do we blame the secretarial pool for the failures of Wall Street?! Do we blame the groundskeepers when the football team has a losing season? In a blog and letter I emailed to his office last spring, I challenged Arne Duncan to send a check to every teacher in a public school for their personal annual outlay as a part of the stimulus package. No answer. Now they will sell teachers out for the privatization of our public education?! I am waiting for definitive rebuttal from the teachers' unions as well. I repeat...I am baffled. Can someone show me the logic? It totally escapes me.