4 Troubling Reasons Our School System Is Crumbling
By: Suzie Dalien, M.Ed.
As a whole, the United States School System is in dire straits. The fact that classroom sizes are continuing to balloon while the allotted budget stays the same, or in some cases is even decreasing is alarming in itself. But the most alarming fact is who this current state of affairs is harming the most, our children. Many children are struggling to keep up in a classroom where they are no longer able to receive the help they need. Couple that with the systems “need” to push students through to the next grade even if they fell behind in their current, and you have the perfect setting for a nationwide epidemic.
By no means am I suggesting any sole person or group is responsible for the current disheveled system. Most teachers, principals and administrators work as hard as they can within the framework of resources available to them. However, it’s important for everyone to start diving into finding the root cause, and work together to improve the current process for future generations.
Here are 4 reasons we are faced with this current reality;
1. Money – Where Is It Going?
Pay close (really close) attention to your next local, state or national election – particularly anything relating to schools. Sure, we are all willing to pay a penny-tax to help our schools out. But, if you’re paying close attention, you’ll vote NO with a double N when you see where the additional money is actually going. A penny tax for schools sounds great until you see that in a lot of cases, it is going to pay for administrators and their needs rather than the needs of children. In national elections, pay close attention to what the national teachers union is doing and how they are spending their money. Most teachers have no choice but to join this union even when they disagree with their aggressive fight to improve this declining system through better resource allocation. WHY? And who benefits?
2. Outdated Methods;
If you have children in school, HOW are they being taught? Is your child being taught using the vast power of the internet and the amazing resources available or are they still being encouraged to use paper resources, memorization and other antiquated means of learning? Technology is not going away. Anyone with a smart phone is carrying a powerful computer in their pocket. Why are more kids not being taught to use this technology – it’s what they’re going to need in the real world.
3. Parental Rights;
If you have a child in public school, it’s easy to forget that you’re the parent. You are in charge of your child’s education no matter where they attend school. The Common Core may or may not be a well-intended national program. Do some research. See who stands to benefit from the implementation of this entirely new, untested program. (Do an internet search on Pearson and College Board to get you started.) Are you okay with having your child tracked from preschool through high school in a “harmless” data base? We’re talking about what your child eats for lunch, your financial basics, questionnaires asking your child whether you have a gun in your home, whether you smoke, what kind of car you drive, and on and on.
4. Classroom Materials;
Do you know how your child’s texts, library books and worksheets are chosen? Again, it might be time to follow the money trail. It’s not uncommon for kids to have access to a text only during a class time. Yet, they are sent home with homework and no reference source – for them or for you. Are your child’s history, science and literature texts accurate? Have you read them? If you don’t ask, they will not share.
Additional Resources That Can Help;
Homeschooling – Throughout the United States, millions of families have made the commitment to teach their own children. Of course this option doesn’t work for everyone, however there are thousands of available Homeschool Resources to aide in your research. For children with special needs, millions of specific Special Education Homeschool Resources exist that are geared to aide in very precise areas.
Tutoring – For children with special needs, Special Education Tutoring has become a relatively inexpensive way to stay on the right path toward academic excellence.
Special Education Curriculum – For every disability, there seems to be a hundred or more “do it yourself” type options for supplemental learning. Technology has made it super simple to find Special Education Resources to assist you in helping your child get back to their current grade level and beyond.
When enough like-minded individuals band together, positive change can happen. Does this article hit home for you? If so, please share and leave your comments below. Let’s make the education system better for generations to come!
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