Saturday, January 14, 2006

Stupid in America....

Did anyone watch 20/20's Stupid in America: How we cheat our kids?

                                           Stupid In America  

Oh. My. God.  

I am so fucking pissed off, its not funny.  I stayed up until 2 this morning talking to Grace's dad, who had no idea our schools were this shitty.  I've been telling him for years, but this was the proof he needed to believe me.  

Now, because I have friends in different countries, I knew our educational system (K-12), needed some serious work, but shit, I never knew things were this bad.... 

This program had so much information, I know I'm missing some key points, but the jist of it is...  

Two words:  Teacher's Union.    Monopoly in Teachers  

These self-preserving morons don't give a rat's ass about your kids and their education.  The give themselves raises with the money that is supposed to educate our children.  They have created so many loopholes, that incompetent teachers cannot be fired. 


Stossel unfolded a three page flow chart with so many arrows redirecting the steps to fire a crappy teacher.  Un-fucking-real.   In absolutely no other area would this corruption fly.  Crappy doctors can be sued for malpractice, as can lawyers.  I think teachers should be held accountable, too....  

I have worked at jobs where the slackers were rewarded, and kept their jobs.  But this is about our kids.  Their future.  The next in line to be in control of our country.   

I had a theory once that the US keeps the poor kids in the poor schools and the rich, well... they can afford to go wherever they want.  And it's the latter, who the current power mongers, want to be in positions of power in their adulthood.  It seems to be more than theory....

Now, we all now where I'm going with this, right?  Keep the poor, poor. 

I'd really hate to believe that this is true, but after seeing this report, I'm almost sure of it.  Rich kids do not attend public schools.  

Get this, public schools get $10,00.00 per student, per year, to teach them.  The money is attached to the child's zip code, and not to the child.  John Stossel looked at Belgium's schools and found that their money was attached to the student, so parents could send their child to the school that is BEST for the child, not because of where they live.  

Stossel also stated that the longer kids stay in our public school system, the worse their education.  He said that our grade school kids test above average, but by high school they're at the bottom.  Belgium's kids tested at 76%, our kids (high school, one of the best in NJ) got a 46%. Making the Grade  

Then he talked about how our schools are set up.  Most other countries have specialized high schools, like one for science, one for engineering... you get the point.  We have this standard set up for our schools, and most half ass teach the same curriculum.  We are obviously not the best in the world. 

When is something going to be done?  

I am on a letter writing campaign.  Every person in a position of power in my state is getting one.  As will others who I feel will take this matter into consideration and address it, like Oprah.    I want to see progress and I'm hoping those who read this, see the report (click the links above), will join me in writing letters to Mayors, Governors, and Congress, anyone elected to office....   

My wheels are turning. 

I made arrangements after Grace was born, to send her overseas to school after 6th grade or homeschool her.  Either way, she will not fall into the same downward spiral I saw last night.  I cannot allow that to happen.  I know many people cannot fathom sending their child away... but I see it for her own good.  I was backed up in my decision, with this program....  

I'm off to see just what it takes to start a school.  If it is something I can accomplish, all my friend's kids are welcome :) 

Just don't let this go.  Please! 

It is too important to let it continue the way it is.    Teacher's unions need to be dissolved and revamped, with a system for checks and balances... just like our government has.   

Don't let your kids down...  



quartrlyfecrysis said...

Oh girl.. i watched this show too.  I really, really think that i'm lucky that we live in a really good school district.  However, I knew that before we moved here.  I knew that this was one of the best areas around, and we pulled all kinds of stuff out of our ass to live over here....JUST BECAUSE OF THE SCHOOLS!  I also know how lucky we are to have a good school system here...and i know why, it IS because of the money.  We live in a wealthy area, probably the most wealthy in the suburbs of, we live 'low-class' area, but hey, we're within the school boundaries.

I've always believed that in this country..much as i hate to even say it...the rich get richer and the poor just die off.  After seeing all the help that kids were getting at places like Sylvan, I really began to wonder about what our kids are getting out of the 'help' the public schools offer.  I'm seriously planning now to use that extra money that i know we can't afford private school with, but we can afford to use a program like Sylvan.

And the biggest educational arguement i've heard lately...whether or not to teach intelligent design.  They teach evolution as a theory of science, not religion...and evolution is proven, and none of it says we came from monkey's.  They simply teach the evolution of man from cave-man to modern-man in terms of how his body adapted to his development and surroundings.   There are much more pressing matters to address with our schools than 'Under God' and intelligent design.

Anyway, yeah, this strikes a deep chord in me.  Heck, I've been on a letter writing campaign....Why stop now?!!!!


mum24boyz said...

I have not seen this..will have to check the links out..I do beleive the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and I think that even more disturbing is the gap between the 2 is getting wider and wider!
Robyn :)

awriterslife said...

I am a former public high school teacher, so this show didn't tell me anything I didn't already know expect that the system has gotten worse since I left teaching 10 years ago. At the school where I taught, 90% of the teachers were great, hardworking, caring and doing a great job, but the 10% who were there for the paycheck had much more influence on the system and the union, (of which I am now sorry to say I was a member) did more to protect those 10% of bad teachers than it did to reward the others who were good.

That's one detail this expose by John Stossel didn't touch on -- how many good teachers leave because they get frustrated with a system that desperately needs change and that the good teachers have no hope of changing a system that could be so, so much better than it is. I'm one of those, and I hope this show is the beginning of a much needed dialog about how to improve schools. I taught for 15 years, and I know that competition would make schools better faster than anything else anyone can do. This show proved it.

onecrazymomto5 said...

I wanted to catch this but I totally missed it.  I know that we live in a pretty bad area.  As a matter of fact until they finally got done building the new school (over the X-Mas vacation) there was asbestos in the school, no A/C etc.  We actually got letters on the first day of school that we had to sign saying we knew there was asbestos and lead paint and that we would not sue the school.  The school was 70+ years old that Susie was in and the one that Katie was in was even older.  Now that took care of the elementary school but the middle and high schools are still upwards of 40 or 50 years old with no A/C etc.  There only have 20 computers for the students and teachers to use!  None in the classrooms etc.  

elleme2 said...

I don't really have an opinion about the quality of the current school system, but I do have an opinion about John Stossel--and it's pretty negative.  You have to take anything he says with a grain of salt.. He is fond of twisting, exaggerating, even fabricating to fit his agenda of the moment.  For instance, I do know for a fact that in my state (one of the more generous ones) $6,500 per student per year is the maximum spent, and that in only a couple of the wealthier school districts.

I applaud your concern about your daughter's education  and your willingness to become involved in improving it, but please don't go off on a tangent based on this sensationalized program.  Do your own research.  You may find there are reasons for some of this.  For instance, taxpayers who do not have children in school are notoriously unwilling to pay higher taxes for better schools.  They need to be convinced that a well-educated populous benefits everyone.  As for not being able to fire teachers (not quite true--they are fired all the time, but for limited reasons) how much control over what a teacher teaches and how he/she does it do you want to give to an elected school board?  How low do you want to set salaries to attract concientious teachers?

It's a complex problem and one that does need attention--but the right kind of attention.