As a society, we have been led to believe that one of the pillars upholding and leading to the American Dream, and being world leaders in education. And, citizens have come to believe that high-quality education (at least through high school) is an inalienable right, as much of it paid for by our taxation. So, what happens if…
- Scenario 1 – Parents do not want the public offerings as they presently exist? About 15 years ago, homeschooling emerged as a viable alternative primarily to degenerating public school systems and expensive private schools. Biased, hostile legislatures, unions, and teachers protested, frequently stating that families and children were incapable of delivering a high-quality scholastic experience in the absence of their facilities, management structures, as well as the direction and instruction by “certified” teachers”.
- Question – Do all families and children need the state, the unions, formal school administrative staff and its teachers to succeed academically?
- Answer – Studies have repeatedly demonstrated that home-schooled students are achieving higher test scores, are more stable socially, and are often better prepared to succeed in college than their public school peers in particular.
- Scenario 2 – American students rank approximately 20th on standardized testing results compared to students of other international, westernized countries. And, in spite of large per capita academic spending, school districts in some major U.S. cities are failing miserably, even producing illiterate students.
- Question – What happens if local populations pressure governments stop investing millions of dollars into new, non-safety related, school construction projects, para-academic technologies, and non-effective staff?
- Answer – School systems should be forced to be more transparent and accountable for expenditures. And, judicial remedies are needed to remove ineffective employees from tenured, elected and other government-related positions; eliminating undeserved pension and departure parachutes.
- Scenario 3 – Local communities accept Common Core teaching methods simply to access federal funding of system infrastructure, materials, and salaries
- Question – Should school districts accept new, untried teaching methods simply to access fund, particularly without requiring student perform testing to determine effectiveness? And, how long should the schools continue to implement the new strategies even when unable to demonstrate significant benefits to the students?
- Answer – School systems should be forced to be more transparent and accountable for their instructional practices and measures of effectiveness. Parents should pursue legal means to obtain regular, clear reporting, as well as follow-up plans in the event of undesirable outcomes.
- Scenario 4 – You can identify many resources that can provide sample grade-specific curricula. By developing relationships in business, schools can modify older, base curricula to be both generic and contemporary-mark applicable.
- Question – How should school systems respond to a business market that is telling students and their parents that students are not graduating from school with relevant knowledge and skills?
- Answer – Attempt to be as specific as is possible in documenting sources of “not qualified” statements. Bring questions and documented “market rebuffs” to school-related community meetings to seek responses from school and district leadership.
- Scenario 5 – Smartphones and the Internet make essentially any subject matter accessible to anyone with access to these services. Numerous well-funded, dangerous, and highly outspoken minority (very small percent of the population) elements present themselves via social media, to media agency personnel as well as legal/legislative professionals with extreme values to push their values and social agendas. Moreover, the state is empowered legally, its moral compass is quite unpredictable.
- Because all matters conceivable are accessible via contemporary media, does that mean all matters are appropriate as educational content for all age groups?
- Should the state make decisions regarding school construction, safety, and curriculum content based upon the “state’s morals” (which do not exist)?
- Should the state allow administrative behavior that adversely impacts student expression that is not clearly bigoted, caustic, focally directed?
- Is it appropriate for school systems to adjust their curricula to appease dangerous, financially well-endowed, or highly outspoken groups?
- Answer – Do not let administrative persons and agencies run over your will as a community. Your taxes pay for the structures, tools, services, and salaries.
- Scenario 6 – Teacher performance is very poor locally. Statistics have demonstrated that the majority of pre-college level teachers did not perform as well as non-teacher peers in their courses pertinent to the college majors. However, the state supports retaining poorly performing certificate-holding teachers and even bringing in foreign teachers in regions of teacher shortages over bringing in non-certificate instructors.
- Question – Would you prefer competent instructors, and citizen-instructors rather than maintain a requirement of only hiring state-certified teachers?
- Answer – This is a union and jobs protection issue. Union personnel, certifying agencies and teachers wish to control access to jobs and do not want market competition. Pursue legal support if, as in Baltimore MD, San Francisco CA, and many regions in Los Angeles CA, poor public school teaching staff and student performance are the norms. Press for changing the state teaching hiring and retention practices to competency-based, not certificate holding. You can become fluent in classroom protocols and technologies in months. Many teachers could never become as subject-knowledge competent as their non-teacher peers who might replace them.
- Scenario 7 – School districts should stop funneling money into complementary schools or special programs primarily supporting illegal immigrants. The diverted monies are tax dollars. The taxed citizens are never asked: “Would you like us to give these funds to support real estate, services, instructors, resources, and so on, for illegal students, while you are obligated to perform fundraisers to make up for money unavailable to support desired programs, instructors, and technology at your schools?”
- Question – Why is citizen-taxpayer money diverted in this manner?
- Answer – 1) The perpetrators learned how to do it without you being aware of it. 2) Persons who they contract, hire, support and educate provide quid pro quo political support for those who are supporting them. 2) As a citizen-taxpayer, you should research and seek to legally undermine all activities of this nature and have your money rerouted to where it belongs. The next time your college-aged student is a bit short of funding, see if they have some “Dreamer” funds hidden somewhere – you dream too.
- Scenario 8 – In some regions, and/or specific schools, teacher performance is very poor, as reflected in poor student performance. Sports athletes and coaches, corporate CEO’s, even shamed politicians are being pushed out the door at records speeds. Poor instructors (even at the college level) are like cancer cells. They are deadly to the system and all around them, they consume a lot of energy (resources, paychecks, benefits, etcv.), and they are very difficult to purge. Many even have the audacity to “strike” at times, holding the children’s education hostage.
- Question – Should you not rid yourself and your neighborhood of cancer and educational plagues?
- Answer – Yes, by all means.
Even after more than sixty years have passed, people recognize that the broad objectives of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 347 U.S. 483 (1954) have not yet been realized, particularly in the largest of urban settings. In fact, some municipalities, educational institutions, and educators no longer even actually care about your ethnicity or gender. They are willing to be equal opportunity poor service providers.
p style=”text-align: justify;”>This is not an attack on specific people in the education industry. Distinguish between espoused philosophies and missions, versus performances against metrics, and return on investment. Many schools degenerate slowly, over time, as demographics of the markets change. Others disappear quickly as potential customer-students decline their no longer relevant offerings, devolving by intellectual manustupration without market application. Other schools simply lose their way, deviating from well-demarcated paths, becoming unrecognizable, if not undesirable, even if they persist. What happens if…?