When we take a hard look at our society much can be said of the sad conditions in too many urban and rural areas. For over 20 years now conditions have only gone from bad to worse. The children of 20 years ago are now parents of today’s children and not much has changed to improve their economic standing. In fact over 70% of parents today don’t have the financial means to be able to pick and choose where their children go to school. And when the economic conditions within the family unit are no longer sustainable to make the choice of either a charter, private or even home school public schools are the only option left. But, what has transpired in public education for many decades now is directly linked to the overall decay of societies norm that was set during the late 1950’s through the 1960’s when our public educational system was the best in the world.
When we take into account what is happening outside of the educational spectrum we find a very troubling trend. For one thing society as a whole has succumbed to a lower standard of ethics, morals, etiquette and behavior. All one has to notice how this has taken place is to take into account what is occurring in many school districts across the country. What has transpired within the educational experience since the late 1960’s has led our society down a path that is jeopardizing our entire future. Sure, there have been bright spots where students have excelled but far too many of our youth continue to fall way short of the academic standards of the late 1950’s and 1960’s.
Recently there have been marked increases in teachers frustration and resignations within the public school systems all across the country. Partly to blame is the increase emphasis on test and achievement scores. This is where base salaries are tied to the performance of students in achievement based almost entirely on test scores. Least we forget that all students perform differently. Some may have the highest test scores but fall short of the everyday academic levels. While others fail miserably on test scores while achieving the highest everyday academic levels in their classrooms. But, this is only part of the problem facing academics in our schools.
With more of our teachers not only wanting to resign but actually quitting the teaching profession entirely signals very disturbing trends in our schools today. Not only are standardized testing jeopardizing quality in education, school boards across the country too many are filled by people who don’t, can’t or won’t realize the failings that have gone on for decades within public education. This excerpt from a former teacher sums up some of the dysfunction within the school systems not only in Florida but all across the country.
“Some misbehave so that they will be the ‘bad kid’ not the ‘stupid kid’, or because their little bodies just can’t sit quietly anymore, or because they don’t know the social rules of school and there is no time to teach them. My master’s degree work focused on behavior disorders, so I can say with confidence that it is not the children who are disordered. The disorder is in the system which requires them to attempt curriculum and demonstrate behaviors far beyond what is appropriate for their age. The disorder is in the system which bars teachers from differentiating instruction meaningfully, which threatens disciplinary action if they decide their students need a five minute break from a difficult concept, or to extend a lesson which is exceptionally engaging. The disorder is in a system which has decided that students and teachers must be regimented to the minute and punished if they deviate. The disorder is in the system which values the scores on wildly inappropriate assessments more than teaching students in a meaningful and research based manner.”
Faced with the fact that school boards are increasingly unsympathetic to what really goes on in the classroom but are more interested in test scores. And, when this Republican congress and the Trump Administration pulling the purse strings is another key factor that is undermining the quality of education of our youth. With budget shortfalls all across the country where the tax base is no where near sufficient to offer the same quality in education that some of the more wealthier counties in the country offer leaves a gap that is never going to close until there are enough funds either through taxes, fellowships, grants or other organizations willing to finance school systems that already experiencing financial woes. Sad to say with the latest economic forecast public schools will suffer more financial hardships.
This economic forecast indicates schools all across the country are in for more budget cuts. Employers across the country are paying less each year in payroll taxes. What this means for schools is that there will be far less money to support the institutions that our youth attend for their education. Program offerings will be cut and eliminated. Many of the tools used in education will be outdated or worse non existent. And, teachers will be faced with having to do more with less resources because their salaries will be cut. A financial burden not only for American workers but for teachers as well. You can bet your bottom dollar with this proposed tax plan by the Trump Administration will only ad more misery to an already impoverished public school system.
When we turn our attention to society and what has occurred within the family unit and outside of the school atmosphere we find behavior patterns in many of our youth today troubling. No longer are many of the patterns of behavior that exemplified the youth of the 50’s and 60’s apparent when our children attend school. There are allot of reasons why children behave in manners not conducive to achieving academic excellence. One is the breakup of the family unit. Today, too many children grow up in single parent homes. Again, financial considerations appear to have a major influence in why there are so many single parents. Then there are the other financial factors to consider. Today’s economic environment requires parents to either hold two or even three jobs just to meet financial obligations such as rent or mortgage, food, insurance, and all the rest of the cost of living needs today for themselves and their children.
When parents are caught up in meeting the financial obligations like working longer hours and schools only take a percentage of the child’s time leaves a window of loss opportunity for parents to bond with their children. Without structure, nutriment and proper supervision children deviate to a more challenging behavior patterns when they return to the classroom. When behavior patterns disrupt a structured lesson plan or other students becomes a crisis point in the classroom. What was acceptable reactions by teachers years ago are no longer acceptable in today’s realm of reality. Teachers today are very limited in the way they handle disruptive and disorderly students.
The incidents involving students being so disruptive in schools has only increased. Teachers many of whom have been physically assaulted by unruly students. And just recently teachers were resigning because students in grade school classes behaved so bad teachers couldn’t continue. The disruption has only increased in too many schools form Elementary, Jr. High and even into High Schools. And, when local school boards continue to ignore the plight of many teachers today remains a very high priority that education reform on a national scale be implemented.
The purpose of National Economic Reform’s Ten Articles Of Confederation where Article V Education Reform is outlined is the best way for our children to be able the gain the education that will prepare them for the challenges, the jobs, and their lives in the years ahead. Our future as a nation rests upon our youth being able to meet those challenges. And that only comes when they gain a well rounded quality education.