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None of the presidential candidates' HEARTS seem to be invested in improving public education. The conditions that young children must endure in the "ALMIGHTY" U.S.A is absolutely deplorable! Some of these candidates have never even stepped foot into a chicago, indianapolis, new york, etc public school! Those who seem to have heart, simply have a way with words yet little substance. I challenge each candidate, INCLUDING JOHN MCCAIN, to visit some of the "worst" public schools in the country and dare not make notable changes/proposals for change. IT TAKES HEART!! and sadly if their hearts are not involved then change simply will NOT come.
When will foreign language education for all students be stressed. I see an evil here in the State of California that is totally inexcusable. The schools are paying out big money to make sure that Hispanic and Latino students learn English, yet they are making no effort to make sure that African American students learn other languages, especially Spanish. That gives foreigners advantages and continue the cycle of discrimination in hiring practices for jobs when they are adult. This is a very competitive world and how can they compete. If we have not noticed, America is not just black and white anymore. Literally. Because most Black students do not speak any other language unless they are from another nation.
When I inquired about this situation to the assistant superintendent over the school district about this very messy situation, I was told that "they" (meaning African American students) can pick it up (foreign language) as an elective when they enter high school. That is much too late. They need to be able to learn other languages while they are very young in the public school system with some of the taxes we are using to teach others which may or may not be legal citizens. I don't mean to sound harsh, bitter or mean, but I just do not have any other words in my vocabulary and this expresses my sentiments. I wanted to get to the point and it was what I needed to say.
In addition to all of this, society has become such a multi-cultural melting pot that I think if we could help all of our children with something as simple as language skills, we would have accomplished something very great. Even the people I have talked with the capacity to do something about this, I believe wants to be "politically correct while a portion of our children are falling through the cracks because they have no one who will speak up for them. Even many black parents remain asleep, don't care, or do not see the wrong, or simply don't understand or speak up.
Enough of unfunded Federal or State education mandates! Don't "choke" the business of education under massive regulations without financially supporting what you want to accomplish. That's like asking a contractor to build a house without giving him money for supplies or labor.
Another pet peeve...all those parents, politicians, and law makers who think they know how to run a classroom, just because they've attended school. Obviously, you haven't stepped into a classroom in many years! You'd be shocked and horrified to see how students...yes, your children, are not only rude, bullying,and disrespectful to each other, but to their teachers and staff as well.
Profane language, pornagraphic dress, peer pressure, weapons, and widely popular drug and alcohol use provoke an atmosphere that prevents instruction. How can educators teach and students learn when the majority of time is spent on "crowd control"?
I wouldn't presume to tell my doctor how to treat me or tell my investor how to make the best market decisions or tell my endodontist how to do oral surgery. Yet daily, parents come to school telling teachers how to teach and then demanding their own student be exempt from school policies like regular attendance, completing class assignments or homework,or doing quality instead of marginal work. The "let's hold teachers accountable" refrain needs to stop...when will students pick up the challenge to be involved and accountable for their own learning?
"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink". Similarly, you can provide excellent staff, materials, equipment, buildings, and curriculum but you can't force a child to become educated. When did Americans decide that "doing my own thing (for my own benefit)" was more important than becoming a "literate, life-long learner and citizen of the world"?
The Federal Government should have no role in educuation. This is the job of state and a local government.
Parents should have more financial freedom to choose where their children are educated. The current system assures a virtual monopoly for public education.
State and local taxes for collected education should fund school options that the parents choose, whether public or private. Public schools shouldn't fear a little competition... after all, if a public school is the best option, people will flock to it. But at least make it compete!
The candidates need to support the schools and help society change to support families and help them survive intact. The woes and ills of the modern day family spill over to our schools and since it is easier to point the finger at someone else rather than yourself, the schools get the blame.
I have heard so much bashing of education and educators throughout the year and it seems like a great whipping post for getting people upset and frustrated. The reality of schools of today is another story. One party shouts No Child left Behind, and what a great title. The information that it gives to the schools is great so that you can target groups that show up on the radar being in need. The problem is that it is made as a grading instrument and requires a 100%. Now I know that every parent in a school and every politician score 100% on everything and if they were graded on the same system, not one of them could make it into office since they would need 100% of every ethnic group to pass! See the flaw in the NCLB logic.
The other alternatives that are presented to solve the problems in education have been stated as having Charter Schools. This, by their nature, should do better since parents who put their children in them care. This is more than some children have for support at home. This alternative is no more than modern day segregation, but this time between those who have and those who have not. Public schools are the only true melting pots for our society!
Candidates need to highlight the good that is happening in schools, not use them as tools for political gain! Our nation and our schools future go hand in hand. Those who aren't active and engaged in the schools, directly, have no real ground to base their opinion. Politicians, at all levels, need to actually visit schools and see what is really happening!
When we start treating the teaching profession like a real profession with all the respect and honor it deserves, and put our money where our mouths are... pay the teachers and administrators what they are worth, then there will be change because we will not have a shortage of good teachers. There will be an over abundance of people who would want to go into that profession to earn a good salary and the school districts could CHOOSE the best applicants and therefore hire the best teachers. This will improve education. Yes, there must be good curriculum and innovative programs, etc., but the teachers make all the difference in the world (literally). Every doctor, lawyer, surgion, CEO, teacher, administrator, etc., had teachers. Where would they be today without the influence and guidance of teachers? We need to pay educators and show respect for their PROFESSION. I have taught high school math for 24 years and although I dearly love what I do and I love making a difference in student's lives, I have had to consider changing professions on many occassions because the salary was not enough. I am thankful for what I get, don't get me wrong, but I feel that teachers and administrators are very underpaid. By the time something is done about it, I will have retired (if I can afford to retire....which is doubtful), but I would still love to see the future teachers get what they rightfully deserve. :-)
We know the issues. We know the problems. So why do we keep doing things the old way? Our schools are no longer one room buildings on the praire. Other countries have moved on, and their gains show. Are we too proud to emulate others? We need smaller, more intimate educational settings. Teachers need time to collaborate and mentor. Educational leaders need to step up to the plate and insist that we use the know-how research has validated. Let's stop wringing our hands and wasting time.
Edewkashun Can your kid spell? Mine either. Can they write an essay? Mine sure can't. How about a research or term paper? A WHAT?? I'm sick to death of all this Math and Science initiative, and all things computer. Ok, so you're kid is so great on the computer, he/she can hack into the Pentagon...... can they spell Pentagon? Oh, that's right. They have spell check. Do they know where the Pentagon is? Do they know what it is? Do they know what the capital of the United States is? How about a well-rounded education for everyone. Wouldn't that be nice? Not everyone is going to be a CEO. Not everyone is a math and science whiz. But those kids who aren't still deserve a quality education. Are we trying to do away with English, Art and Music? WHY?? Those are MY issues with the current educational system and none of the candidates seem to care at all about that.
It is time for our presidential candidates to address the literacy needs of learning-disabled children, and urge all the states to focus on this huge problem. A full 20% of our population struggles with reading due to dyslexia, a genetic condition for which there is no known cure, but for which there are effective strategies for overcoming the problem. (Go to LD Online)
Consider these statistics:
85% of special ed students are dyslexic
60% of adolescents in drug/alcohol treatment have a learning disability
35% of dyslexics drop out of school.
60% of adults with severe literacy problems have a learning disability
80% of gang members are functionally illiterate
90% of the incarcerated are functionally illiterate.
We have known for the last 60 years that multisensory, structured, sequential, direct instruction of the structure of the English language can prevent reading failure, not only for dyslexic students, but also for ESL students and other struggling readers.
South Carolina has one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the country. My local high school in our state capitol has a 51.9% dropout rate! When will the legislators in our state of SC follow through with the mandate of the No Child Left Behind Act, and address the problems of dyslexic students, instead of ignoring them? That is, when will they change outdated laws that allow schools prevent schools from addressing this specific learning disability, and fund appropriate education for learning disabled students. Other states, such as Florida and Texas, have changed their education laws to deal with dyslexia directly, training teachers appropriately and offering early intervention to prevent reading failure. We cannot afford to ignore this issue any longer.
Candidates for president and other federal offices need not discuss education at all. Education is none of the federal government's business. The words education and school appear nowhere in the US Constitution or Bill of Rights. Education should be a matter for states and localities to address.
The US Dept of Education is less than 30 years old. How did we get by for 200+ years without the feds taking care of schools? Like nearly everything it touches, the federal government is doing nothing positive to educate America's children.
"Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." -- the often ignored 10th Amendment