What We Can Do to Make Our Schools Work- Part 1
What Can We Do To Make Our Schools Work? – Part 1
Virtually everyone has an opinion about our educational system and especially what is wrong with it. Many of the opinions are based more on emotion and frustration than on hard facts and proven research. These discussions crop up in almost every imaginable situation. As we become involved in such discussions it is useful to know the awareness level of other discussants. In some cases discretion is the better part of valor and we should simply remove ourselves from the conversation, because the proponent is not in a discussion. S/he has an axe to grind and is looking for a victim.
Identifying the Crackpots
The first step is to ignore the naysayers. Do not get involved in discussions with them. It is not going to change anything and it has an opportunity cost for you in terms of your valuable time. Many of these most vociferous critics have not been in or near a school since their own graduation, if in fact they did. They certainly are not PTA members or volunteers in their local schools. They have completely made up their minds and no new information is going to cause them to reconsider. The worst of these critics simply want to wind back the clock to the way it used to be when they were kids. They have reduced the issues to their most simplistic terms. Some of the issues they contend have led us to the current situation are;
- Spoiled rotten kids, who would rather play video games than learn to read or to make change,
- Unfit parents who couldn’t care less about their child’s education,
- Pig-headed, lazy bureaucrats feeding from the public trough, creating mountains of useless paperwork for schools to fill out.
- Lazy teachers who are only in it for the summers off, the holidays, the early retirement and the big pension,
- Greedy unions who protect worthless teachers,
- Stingy governments who are all show and no go.
- Do nothing administrators climbing up the backs of kids to a bigger job and a fatter salary.
- If someone begins a discussion with you about the current state of our schools and alludes to any of these oversimplified ”causes” of the problem, run don’t walk to the furthest spot away from them.
If nothing else it will serve not to reinforce their views by being considerate enough to listen.