Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The War On Education Vol 2

The war on education wages on. Everybody and their brother knows about Michigan's budget problems by now, and most people realize what is at stake. Schools have kept an keen eye on this issue, while all along assuming the worst. Yes most schools are pretty pessimistic right now, most are looking for ways to stretch this year's budget, and cut next year's. Some schools have already started handing out pink slips, others are talking about cutting back busing routes or eliminating busing altogether. A lot of schools have gone to pay-to-play sports, and the ones that haven't yet are fighting not to have to. Times are tough for schools right now, and all indications are that it's going to get worst before it gets better.

To a certain extent, I get it. Public schools are easy targets. For one thing they are public, they don't operate behind close doors; when public schools have the slightest mishap the whole community knows about it. All you have to do is look at this teacher not wearing his name tag in Clinton to see this principle at work. This was all over the area papers for weeks, with more than half of the articles making the school district out to be a boogie man (that was a large reason I sided with the school over the teacher was the way he handled the situation and dragged the school down in the process). Every one has had a bad teacher, or a teacher they didn't like and it's always those teacher the stick out in people's minds once they are out of school for a few years. And of course, there is the crowd that thinks that any one can be a teacher (oddly enough it is usually that same crowd that thinks that most teacher's aren't any good). Which brings us the the group that views schools as free daycare.

These views stem largely from the fact that most people have no idea what it takes to run a school, have no idea what goes into being a good teacher, and don't realize the potential pay off of giving students a quality education to the general public. Most people have no idea how much it actaully costs to run a school. The truth is that the public and politicians need to be educated about education. Students don't have lobbyist.

Politicians will always talk about making education better, but their idea of making education better is mandating more tests, and if you'er a Republican, cutting school funding, taking money away from public schools and giving it to private schools in the form of a voucher, and creating a nation wide program that your brother Neil will make huge profits from. Sigh

1 comment:

Nirmal said...

agreed -- its a matter of misplaced priorities.

the amount of funding that education gets compared to, say, corrections tells us a lot about our society's priorities.

i guess it will take voter education to fix our sense of priorities.