Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Education in America

 I've been watching the series that NBC has done on education in america.  It's driving me insane, have none of these people ever been in a classroom before?  Because here's the real deal.

Teachers are great, they are amazing and there are a few things keeping them from fulfilling their full amazing-ness.

1.  Teachers are required to teach to the stupid tests.  By No Child Left Behind, he meant EVERY child would be left behind, because they're learning not how to innovate, but how to take tests.  Honestly, not a useful skill when you're hoping to be a super power.  I get why they do it, but they really spend almost an entire month working on testing skills.  Let's not even TALK about how much these tests COST.  And let's just say they're not losing funding, or being asked to take extra days off... no! those tests cost a lot each and every year!

2.  Teachers have great stuff, and can do great stuff if you would just teach your kid how to behave.  Normal age-appropriate-ness is normal, but talking back, being unable to sit down for 10 minutes etc.  COME ON.  It's YOUR job to start that, not theirs.  And if it's happening, it's your job to work on it at home until the kids beaten into submission. :)  Behavior problems take up SO much of their day.  It's just annoying.

Not that my kids don't have a behavior problem every now and then but I really take what's gone on at school and I work to help it at home.  I know a lot of parents who think behavior is the teacher's job.  Clue:  It's not.

Are there bad teachers out there that the unions have kept around.  Yes.  I think that's annoying, but it's not near as annoying as these two things.  I do hope they fix the unions a bit.  I hate ineffective teachers almost as I hate taking a blender to my hand... but I digress.

I just wish Mr. Facebook had helped out his own community a bit more {hint, hint, nudge, nudge}

The real story is that if YOU don't like your school you need to chip in to help fix it.  It's a flawed system and I hope someone can fix it, but until then I chip in where I can -- and so can you.

And Drew, maybe it's best you don't watch it.  I like happy Drew. :)


  1. I like it. Simple fixes. I was talking to D last night about how flawed everything is and if we should just start from scratch. He replied with, "Well, people right now can't be trusted to make the right decisions from scratch." Touche.

    In the meantime, I like the idea of little things we can do (like behavior control) that can help.

  2. Anonymous4:28 PM

    Thank you. That was well said and basically true. (Except that hopefully that month of "test skills" is mostly teaching concepts that we know are highly tested - but still important. I guess. We don't spend much time on how to bubble stuff in is what I'm getting at. But the time would be used SO MUCH BETTER if the tests were done differently. Not to mention the two weeks of instructional time that are totally lost while giving them. Really? Two full weeks a year we need? And then the results are mystifying to everyone! Parents need a guidebook. You can't even compare the results year to year! What's the use of that? For hundreds of millions of dollars I would expect results that are useful. Ahhh! Sorry for the rant.)

    The behavior stuff, totally right. The time I spend handling dumb stuff would be so much better spent teaching, coaching, reading, anything else!

    Good thing I love the kids because it's a hard job!

    - Your favorite firefly!

  3. I agree with everything you said Hilary.

    I love our teachers and I know that they do the best job they can.

    I do feel that administration where we are is completely lacking...many of our administrators are cutting their teeth on my kids while they make their way up the food chain.

    I hate that!

    The demands on teachers is great and most are worth far more than they are paid.

    I have gotten very involved at our school in the hopes of making a difference.

    And I say amen and amen to parents who totally abdicate their parental responsibilities and then refuse to believe that their angel child could be a problem. ack.

  4. Completely agree with all points. Coming from a family of teachers my heart aches for them and all that they are unable to really do for their students because of everything you described.

  5. GREAT post Hil. I totally agree. I'm so nervous for when my own kids start school.


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