10 April 2008

Another Education Rant...

I heard on the radio the other day that 8th grade MPS students ranked dead last in the nation in writing. This is absolutely incredible to me. They weren't in the lower half or third-they were last. What did the district have to say? Nothing. The mayor? Nothing. The schools in this district get $12,000 per student and they are not helping these students to succeed. This is absolutely unacceptable!

This topic actually dovetails my post the other day about my nieces' school, WIVA. The students in that program are succeeding, and, if some people had their way, it would close. Students score dead last in MPS, and they say nothing. Where is the justice in that?

I think it is time to rethink how we are doing things. I don't have all of the answers, but these students cannot continue to be passed from grade to grade if they are not meeting the minimum expectations.

As a former classroom teacher, I didn't really fit the mold. I was against teacher's unions-I still am. Teachers, in general, want things both ways. They want to be treated as professionals, and they want the protection of a union. My in-laws are both factory workers, and I do think that in those situations, they need a union to make sure that they are getting fair wages and treatment. Teachers want to be assured of wage increases, and I understand that, however, how about having some accountability? If you are a good teacher, you would have no problem with merit based increases. I would have been all for that because I was secure in what I was doing as a teacher.

In some way as well, parents need to be responsible for making sure that their students go to school. They need to attend conferences about their child. I am not usually on for the "It takes a village" philosophy, but we need to be working together for these students to succeed. Pumping more money into the system isn't the answer. If something isn't done, we will have a generation of students who can't read and write, and who are dependent on the system.


writermom said...

And now we can continue to pay ridiculous taxes to fund these failing schools, and then pay to put our own in private ones! I'm all for the idea of a tax credit for those that choose private schools for their children. What more is it going to take to get MPS up to par?

Susie said...

I agree Therese...it is unacceptable however, I don't know that it is new. I mean, my parents pulled me out of MPS in the 70's and put me into schools they couldn't afford because they feared for my education even then.

In Bay View (where I grew up), they are talking about merging more schools. I mean, they are talking about switching things around so that Bay View would be all bused students...no local. How can that be good? How can the students take pride in a school that isn't even in their neighborhood?

My sister-in-law is on a committee in Bay View. They are looking at the schools themselves and according to her, the resources are there. It's just a matter of how we choose to use them.