Waiting for Superman


Why is our society so obsessed about “broken schools?”  Is is a surprise that we have troubled young people when we have so many “broken homes?”  The US divorce rate is one of the highest in the world: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/peo_div_rat-people-divorce-rate


My point is, families are letting the schools down.  The family isn’t sending kids to school prepared to learn.  Many students come to school with little or no manners and have to learn social skills that should probably be learned at home.  Many students also come to school hungry and tired, and are victims of abuse and violence.  These students are difficult to teach, but public  schools in the United States do what they can, with amazing results.    These students (and their families) facing challenges are often intimidated and threatened by the school system  and are probably not even aware of charter school options and will not benefit from charter schools.  In fact, since many of the better students do choose to leave their schools and attend charter schools, the students left behind lose their peer tutors and the overall quality of their education suffers even more.

It is a shame that people with little or no experience teaching in public schools, seem to know how to fix those very schools which, in many cases, they didn’t even attend.   Bill Gates attended a private high school, then dropped out of Harvard.  This is our public education savior?  Davis Guggenheim is free to express his opinion, and he seems to dislike teachers and unions.    He admits that he drives past three public schools to take his child to a charter school, and he says “it haunts me.”  I guess it doesn’t haunt him enough to help out his local public school.

Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of DC Public Schools say she “knows” students are getting a crappy education?  Get rid of her negative thinking, find somebody positive with energy.  Someone who can talk parents and families into fulfilling their obligations and raising their children with the support they need.

A common theme to improve public school performance seems to be to fire bad teachers and break unions.  I believe this is backwards and negative thinking, looking at the glass as half-empty.  Instead, let’s screen and hire great teachers.  Teaching is difficult to evaluate and measure.  Many of the evaluators are administrators, who were not great teachers and wanted out of the classroom.  Many great teachers just “have it.”   The current system takes new and beginning teachers and focuses on staff development in the early years.  For a teacher who doesn’t “have it,” this could be a waste of time.  Bad teachers should have never been hired in the first place.  Bad administrators hired them.  From this point on, let’s hire only the best.

Whatever we do, let’s all look in the mirror.  Are parents sending their children to school prepared?  Are they supporting their schools?  It all starts at home!

We see all this money pledged to reform schools.  Make smaller learning communities, buy more supplies, better curriculum.  If we focused some of this on parents doing a better job at home, the change would be dramatic.  If each family spent one hour per day/night on schoolwork with their children, test scores and performance would surge.  Bill Gates could stop worrying about teacher pensions.

Here is school reform;  HOME REFORM.  FAMILY SUPPORT.  Let’s be obsessed with “broken homes!”


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