Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Your Public Schools At Work For You

The Grand Rapids Press carried a story, Southeast Career Pathways alternative school called 'out of control', about an alternative school that has essentially been taken over by the students.

This is obviously not a unique story. It is one that can be found in virtually every medium to large city. Familiarity is not comforting though. Further, with disgraceful graduation rates, it's a problem that is way overdue for a fix.

I will not go into a lot of detail here but I can tell you that the Grand Rapids Public School system is an absolute joke. The school board meets and typically the overriding concern is ensuring diversity. They do not appear to have time left over for things like assuring the children are actually educated.

A student highlighted in this article appears to be trying to make as much as possible out of a second chance but she is finding the atmosphere hard to learn in

"I chose to come to this school because I thought there would be less kids in the classes and none of the drama," she said. "But it's hard to do your work if people are screaming and throwing things around the room."

The article does not say how this young lady found herself at this school and, quite frankly, I personally find it irrelevant. I believe kids make mistakes and I am all for giving them a second chance if they are willing to take advantage of it.

The tragedy here though is that the school officials are less concerned about fixing the problem and ensuring the kids get the education they need and more interested in finger pointing and petty arguments.

One teacher had their car stolen but the public safety director blamed the teacher for leaving the keys in the car. While leaving your keys in the car is stupid, isn't this blaming the crime victim for the crime?

There are ongoing arguments about the teachers using security concerns in a labor dispute. This may or may not be true but there is violence in these schools and the administration is ignoring it and saying it is overblown by the teachers.

The likelihood is that the problem in this school is isolated among a few kids and I believe the solution is to get them out of the school. As I said earlier, I believe kids make mistakes and I am for a second chance if they make the chance count. For the kids that cannot behave in an alternative school, kick them out. If they want to get their selves together and come back let them try, if they do not, tough on them.

Letting a few kids ruin the chances for the entire student body is inexcusable. "I want to learn, and I've learned some stuff," she said. "But I feel I could have learned more." Too bad the adults responsible for her learning can't be as responsible.


Mustang said...


As you know, I have exhausted myself writing about this country's educational system. What you are describing is not unusual, but it is the result of three things:

1. The people who are running educational programs today are those who graduated from the exact same environment.

2. Parental and taxpayer lethargy in demanding that school systems rid themselves of any and all programs that do not directly relate to educating children so that they will have a chance of success as adults.

3. Systematically lowering the bar so that even criminals and idiots can graduate, thus perpetuating the myth that school systems actually educate our children. This does make for successful school administrators; it does nothing at all for students.

Until these things are changed, expect no recovery. For as long as educationalists seek to maintain the status quo, this country has no real expectation of global competitiveness. It will only get worse.

Semper Fi

My Files said...

And these kid grow up to be..........?

cube said...

People like William Ayers are considered educators. Therein lies the problem.

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

One teacher had their car stolen but the public safety director blamed the teacher for leaving the keys in the car. While leaving your keys in the car is stupid, isn't this blaming the crime victim for the crime?


shoprat said...

About 15 years after I graduated I ran into a former teacher, who was only about 10 years older than myself, after she took a medical retirement. She was beaten up by a student. She told me that they were encouraged in college to make students challenge and stand up to authority. It never occurred to her, or her fellow students (or their professors for that matter) that they too were authority figures and the students would eventually turn on them.

Chuck said...

Mustang, one of the criticisms of the No Child act was that it was a "unfunded mandate". We've been paying these schools for over 100 years to teach our kids, it's time for them to show some results. We need to liscense teachers and make them renew, we need to get rid of social promotions, and we need to require strict guidelines for obtaining a diploma. As it stands now, a high school diploma means nothing.

Files, losers that have more losers. Sometimes they get real crazy and marry the mother.

Cube, 'nuff said.

Wordsmith, you agreed with me so your clearly right :)

Shoprat, good thought

MK said...

Is there anything the tolerance and diversity crowd touch that doesn't turn to crap. No seriously?