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Friday, May 27, 2011

Educational Idiocy

One of the things I have been trying to do all year is get my son the help he needs. If we were in the Miami-Dade School District (4th largest in the country,) this would not be an issue. But we belong to KISD. I have never seen a school district as backward as this one. Everyone at the disrict level seems oblivious as to what resources and services they provide, and my child's school, which at one point was supposed to be a top school, has gone to hell in a handbasket these last two years.

The last parent/teacher conference I had actually focused on my being told that it was a perfectly valid educational strategy to allow my son to get out of completing his schoolwork if he got frustrated. For a minute, I was convinced that I would hear the Twilight Zone theme music and that this would all be a horrible nightmare. Unfortunately, reality hit home when the principal agreed with the teacher! (The principal rates this particular teacher's evaluations; maybe she didn't want to look like an ass...)

I am completely against this philosophy for a number of reasons. The most obvious of these reasons is that since when has it been acceptable to weasel your way out of things? There are plenty of things out there over the course of a person's lifetime that will frustrate them; do we really want to teach our children to be quitters and not hold them accountable for both their failures and successes?

I am of the opinion that teachers are not of the same caliber as they were when I went to school. I'm thirty, so it wasn't in the Jurassic age or anything like that...it's just that so many teachers only seem to want to discuss their salaries and their benefits; there is definitely not as much pride or any dedication left in the profession as there once was.

In case there are teachers reading this, I would like to point out that I am a parent who highly respects teachers, and I am available by phone or by email any time a teacher needs or wants to reach me. I am highly involved and interested in my children's education, and I appreciate the work that most teachers do. I don't think that a few crappy teachers define the profession, but I do think they help make the profession as whole seem greedy and self-serving.

I think it's a sad commentary on the state of society when professional educators can get away with espousing such a strange and erroneous ideology as my son's teacher and his principal. Luckily, there's hope; this frame of mind does not seem to be pervasive...yet.

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