Is it Education rut, or rot?
Is it Education rut, or rot?
You can spend major bucks on a school system but it means nothing if the community doesn’t address the social problems, and parenting problems within the community’s.
I bring your attention to this post: Williams: Obama’s education initiative not helpful to black students. Williams points out that it’s rampant inner-city school violence that should be addressed in schools which makes educational excellence impossible. He has a valid point. But the other thing not addressed in the schools is the fact they get the bottom one third of teachers, and most are new. They get for the most part the teachers no one else wants. They also have the least funding, (most) and poverty is high among the teachers, and parents of the students.
We can’t use poverty as an excuse for the deplorable conditions of our schools. As Williams pointed out; “Spending more money on education cannot replace poor parenting. If it could, black academic achievement wouldn’t be a problem. Washington, D.C., for example, spends $18,667 per student per year, more than any state, but comes in dead last in terms of student achievement.”
You have to address the student body as a whole by looking at its community to see where the problems are. In Williams blog he states that; “Numerous studies show children raised in stable two-parent households do far better educationally and otherwise than those raised in single-parent households.” He gives the stats for black children in Harlem. Then he states that “More and more black parent’s single and two-parent families are taking their children out of public education.
So public education is the problem? Yes and no. The community decides on how the money is spent in education. Then along comes the Federal funding. Next you have the parents that bring their excess baggage along. I just want you to know I am not putting down parents. Not all of them anyways. Just the ones that send little Johnny off to school without knowing how to tie his own shoes, not knowing his own address, his parents’ names, nor does he know his colors, numbers, and he can’t even read a simple Dick and Jane book. Little Johnny knows more about the streets than he does his own parents living room. Those are the parents I am putting down. If your child knows how to tie his/hers shoes etc. or at least most of the items on the list then good for you. If your child only knows the streets, you get no brownie points from me.
Fixing this problem is simple. Create a list of things that a student must know before they start first grade or Kindergarten. Make them mandatory. Your child doesn’t have these skills; they must wait a year to start school. I guarantee you will see an improvement in parent participation. Now add to the list after they start school a few things that a parent must teach their child. Test them at the end of first grade; if they fail they don’t go to second grade. The skill set can be set for entering school all the way through middle school. Every two years the student has a parent achievement level to master and must pass in order to go to the next grade. There is your parent participation.
For those parents making up excuses as to why their student doesn’t know the skills, they are the ones that go to parenting classes. Don’t shame the students, shame the parents.
Why would I do this? I clearly remember 49 years ago… knowing my colors, how to tie shoes, knowing my numbers, my parent’s names, my address, etc. when I started school. My own children knew this stuff too. Why isn’t this still mandatory now? Why are we permitting parents to slack like this?
As far as kids on the streets is concerned. When I was young if you was a child on the streets you better have a place to be going to, and be quick about it. You did not hang on street corners, and you definitely were not on the street every day of the week. Yes children rode bikes in front of their own homes with their neighbor’s children. You took turns playing in each other’s yard too. Your momma knew exactly where you was, and with whom. But one thing your momma and or daddy never allowed was you walking the streets on a regular basis.
So what do you call this Education rot or rut?
Clearly today an education is far different from the education you got thirty years ago. Somehow or another “education” was lost in translation. Maybe because thirty years ago both parents were going to work at the same time, or it could have been the hours put into work by the parent(s). I tend to think it was because that was the boom for mothers to leave the nest, marry, have children, and then go to work. The 30’s 40’s 50’s and 60’s Mom was home with the children. Someone was always with the children. It was unchartered territory when the 70’s came along and gradually mom went to work too. No one knew then how it would turn out. A balancing act carried out by parents that had to find a way to make it work.
Somewhere along the lines schools turned from an education facility into a babysitter. Students became latchkey kids, who walked the streets gradually building up to always on the streets. Education lost its luster. It was just something the students had to do. The parents were not home, many of these students had to fend for themselves for hours after the last bell. Businesses were not helpful either. To ask for time off… you might swear you were asking for the bosses head on a plate. Bosses did not want to help a parent out. Be at work or else. Not much has changed today except today there are more single parent households. Unless you work for a large business out to impress, own your own business, and or you have flexible hours your hours at work can interfere with your child’s schedule.
Someone has to give and I believe it will be parents, and their work place. Schools will only be there to teach, but parents will still have to teach their children life skills. Somewhere along the line the skill was lost. It’s time to bring it back. Business will have to cope by becoming parent friendly. I really believe eventually parents will wise up, and their work place will have to be parent friendly or they won’t even consider a job in their establishment.
Both parents worked, inflation was the cause for the two parent working family. That was the rot that started the education downfall. Both parents had to work in order to meet the demand for cost of living. But the rot turned to rut because a valuable asset was lost the two parent household. The child became a latchkey and street walking became the norm for many children. No one ever thought to question why there were so many children on the streets by themselves. No one really has done anything about it on a grand scale. The street kids are also the ones continually failing in school year after year. The rut now is that regardless if the parent works or not their child could be one of the many on the streets. There is your rut. We have too many children raising themselves. If help and support is offered early enough – before problems arise then children could benefit and so could their parents.
The United States for years have been working against the grain to help families trying to work and take care of children at the same time. Daycare is priced too high for many parents to take advantage of the service. To get our children off the streets, and back to caring about their education will be a community effort. Until the adults start seeing the problems, and addressing those problems our school system will never become number one again. This is the major difference between successful countries and their educational system and the United States educational system.
We can’t go back to the 60’s way of doing things, so we must adjust, fix, and march forward. The place to start is to see where the children are when they are not in school. Then adjust accordingly by putting the proper things in place so our children feel that we as adults do care about them, and their education. The streets should not be raising our children.