Forget the Elephant in the Room . . .
Posted in Education by Julie Ponzi
. . . when it comes to the problems of education in the inner-city (and, I would argue, in many more places than we care to admit) the issue is not an elephant, but a screaming baby. How is it that we are deaf to his cries? We are powerless to help him because we refuse to address the actions of his parents or pass judgment upon them. This heartbreaking account
from a seasoned teacher in a school with more than its share of these stories, goes on to a bitter reflection at the conclusion of his tale:
Every fall, new education theories arrive, born like orchids in the
hothouses of big-time university education departments. Urban teachers
are always first in line for each new bloom. We've been retrofitted as
teachers a dozen times over. This year's innovation is the Data Wall, a
strategy in which teachers must test endlessly in order to produce data
about students' progress. The Obama administration has spent lavishly to
ensure that professional consultants monitor its implementation.
Every year, the national statistics summon a fresh chorus of outrage
at the failure of urban public schools. Next year, I fear, will be
RTWT, if you can stomach it. Thanks to Kate for pointing me to this story.
12:19 PM / January 31, 2011
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Great article. Reality is sometimes like a punch in the stomach.
As I have stated on the board before, Democrats - keeping slavery alive!!!!
I get the survivors at the community college. They say, "My kid is the best thing that ever happened to me." I have sympathy. I love motherhood. It means more to them. These women seem to be the loneliest people in the world.
Are the fathers of such children in my classrooms? I would never know. Once a man wrote about his child since he had custody. Once there was reference to "the mother of my son" in a paper. The mothers are single parents and the fathers of their children are -- what?
We are all so careful to be non-judgmental, even Christians. We applaud women who do not abort, which requires an embrace of their motherhood, whatever the circumstances. I do it, too, but am wondering if it is the right way to respond.
I teach Pre-K in an urban district. Because of the new "curriculum" we've adoped (High/Scope) I'm not allowed to read a book to the class. (only in small groups since it is more intimate) There are potentially 18 children and two adults during 50 minutes of "work" time (that is really free-play, but we must justify it as work time)