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Philosophical Meanderings, Student Voices

Since When

Since when is a child unworthy of a state sponsored education that is worthy of obtaining and is useable in real world scenarios? Since when should a child be told that they are unworthy of such education simply because their zip code is 44112 and not 44022? Since when is it reasonable to trap a child in a cycle of redundancy that is known to exist? Since when is it reasonable for a child to be cramped into a classroom with 40 other kids with no air conditioning, heating, or electricity,  no working windows, and broken desks? Since when is it reasonable for a child for a child to be denied special education services simply because a school can’t afford to or refuses to provide the services? Since when is it reasonable to pretend a teacher can’t be ineffective simply because he or she is a teacher? Since when is it reasonable for a child to be handcuffed, beat, shackled, and humiliated in the one place he or she is supposed to be safe and nurtured? Since when is it reasonable for things that are unreasonable to be ignored?

These are all questions that have for too long either been ignored, avoided, misconstrued, or had their reasoning denounced for the sake of someone else’s agenda. It shouldn’t take this long to find the answer to 8 questions and to implement some type of plan based on those answers if we as a nation are truly trying to reform education, as we claim that we are. If we were truly trying to reform education these questions shouldn’t still be waiting for answers. And furthermore,  if there is nothing systemically or fundamentally wrong with our education system as some who are in denial claim than we shouldn’t be forced to come up with answers to these questions. But the simple fact of the matter is that they are being asked, they have no answers, people don’t want them to have answers, the system is broken, denial won’t help, and the whole situation is utterly unreasonable and is in dire need of attention.

However, the trillion dollar question is why? Why are all these questions without some form of answer from someone somewhere? And if these questions, or at least some, have answers why are they without some form of action? Why are we that afraid as a country to educate children properly that we would rather put up a smoke screen where we all pretend that we are fixing education when in reality those who can actually make a change are covering their butts? Why are we that afraid as a country to properly educate children that we would rather them become unproductive felons, single parents, and bottom of the barrel scraping workers of a system of things that is beyond unsustainable?

We can’t continue on in denial forever though, we can’t pretend that our educational system isn’t in systemic emergency mode and we can’t pretend  that we are not well on our way to educating children to be the most incompetent children in a society that thrives on competence.  The fact that we can’t continue to go on this way can and should be a good thing however, because it provides us as a nation a chance to move toward answering those essential 8 questions so we can move on to figuring out how to answer the next 8 questions. But, if we don’t take heed to the warning signs that came from us refusing to acknowledge the seriousness of the inabilities, systemic flaws, and the amount of unjust prospective that exist within our educational system, soon that opportunity to answer those questions will be nonexistent.


2 thoughts on “Since When

  1. You got that right on! My God, what does it tell you that in some schools principal and teachers are still swinging wooden boards at children behinds and getting away with it? What kind of teacher beats a child with a board? That’s not a teacher that’s an idiot. There is something so seriously wrong with the edcation in this country your children would have a better chance at gaining it if they were left to play in a field all day, ALONE! Of course, they only swing boards in zip code 44112 and not 44022.

    Posted by Anne Brown | April 6, 2012, 11:54 pm
  2. There is no reason those questions should not be actively considered with efforts to deal with the discussion / planning outcomes underway! Might I suggest that other questions in your commentary are also critical – namely WHO doesn’t want to deal with these questions and WHY.

    To me there’s only one sure fire ways to get consideration of any of the questions underway: The LOCAL community of interested and engaged people need to self organize, understand the local issues (including WHO are the ones who don’t want to act and WHY – not to try to change their minds BUT to know who the “enemies” are….), develop plans, and implement them.

    I know what readers of this might be thinking: what am I thinking … We can’t do what government won’t or hasn’t done! Not true: With a well planned (and therefore defendable) approach, officials will listen and will insure it has a chance – ENGAGED LOCAL GROUPS WILL GET VISIBILITY BECAUSE THEY DID THEIR HOMEWORK! I’ve been calling these groups Education Communities.

    Oh, and by the way, yes, issues facing local education do involve “outside” issues such as poverty. (Thanks for not automatically pointing to these issues and using them for an excuse; they are hurdles making changes more difficult but they are NOT insurmountable barriers.). My expectations are two fold for impact of success by the Education Community: (1) some of the education improvement will Impact non-education issues as well; and (2) the success of the education community will generate other similar parallel efforts in the outside issue area AND will also justify other non-profit, foundation, and government support / help for the community as a whole.

    Posted by John Bennett | April 7, 2012, 7:12 pm

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