Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Public Education for the 21st Century?

Education is a touchy subject these days. I figured that it was the right time of year to put in my two cents on the topic. I figured my opinion was worth at least that much considering my career (educator) and my role as a parent to a school age daughter. Schools are just starting to fire up. Many states are trying to change public schools into public private partnerships.

Considering the current reputation of public education in this country, I can understand the interest in alternatives. These public-private partnerships are FOR PROFIT. I didn't understand how this worked until this year, when we started considering a charter school for our daughter. I knew that charter schools typically (in my state) get about 70% of the government funding that the average traditional public school gets.

How then do they make it work? How does a school like that make enough money to be profitable. Well, the school we are considering, could get sponsorships from local businesses. They could also sell advertising. Imagine that.....

As you enter your child's classroom, you hear over the loudspeaker...
"Excuse me for the intrusion, Ms. Peterson, but 3rd grade today will be brought to you by Coca Cola corporation, children please remember It is the Real Thing. Ms. Peterson, you may now continue with your discussion of Integers."

Also realize that there are numerous programs (Gifted, ESOL , or ESE), that are required to be available in the traditional public school. These same programs are not guaranteed in the charter school setting. The traditional public school is THE great melting pot for our society.

It is my feeling that public schools don't need more money, nor do you need to pull your child out and put them into charter schools for the perfect educational experience. To guarantee a solid education for your kids, do one thing .

Spend 1 hour with your child doing homework or going over what happened in school. In other words, take ownership in your child's education and they will soar, regardless of the school setting.

By the way, here is the school supply list for the charter school for each child:

1 8 ct. Crayola watercolor paint set
1 pack of construction paper
1 primary half page journal composition book
2 primary full page composition books
1 regular composition notebook
3 packs of 3X 5” (lined) index cards
1 ruler with inches and centimeters
4 packs of #2 Ticonderoga (brand name) sharpened pencils
2 packs of 24 Crayola crayons (no twistables please)
1 pack of 8 count Crayola markers (thick)
12 glue sticks
1 pair of blunt scissors
1 pencil pouch (no boxes please)
6 rolls of paper towels
2 hand sanitizer bottles
2 containers of Clorox wipe cleaners
2 cans of Lysol spray
3 boxes of tissue
3 bottles of liquid hand soap
2 red plastic duo-tang with side pockets and center clips
2 green plastic duo-tang with side pockets and center clips
3 reams of copy paper
1 pack of Primary Writing Paper
1 pack of multicolor Expo dry erase markers (thick)
1 pack of black Expo dry erase markers (thin)
2 white magic rub erasers
1 pack of brown paper lunch bags
2 packs of Ziploc quart size bags
2 packs of Ziploc gallon size bags
1 disposable camera
***1 labeled seat sack
Spanish – green folder (duo tang w/ pockets)
composition notebook
pocket size Spanish-English dictionary
ream of paper

I wonder why I'm not supposed to label this stuff with my child's name on it?

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I don't think that word means what you think it means

3. The right to guaranteed benefits under a government program, as Social Security or unemployment compensation.

1825–35; entitle + -ment

As a youth, I watched the political establishment warp and maim ideas so that people became embarrassed to be labeled certain things. The most obvious example I can give is the word liberal. Hell, that word has been so successfully maligned over the last 30 years, that the liberal elements in this country now call themselves "Progressives". As far as I know liberal means vile things like open-mindedness and the nasty willingness to embrace change for the purposes of improvement. Improvement and open-mindedness, the mere concepts make me sick.

The same thing appears to be going on now in the media with the word (get ready to run from your monitor), ENTITLEMENT..... Did the lights flicker over your head, or the thunder crash right near you when you read that NASTY word?

I'm going to say it now; when I work for someone I am ENTITLED to a paycheck. It is an ENTITLEMENT. There is that nasty word again. No one gave me anything, I worked and under the terms of that contract I am ENTITLED to get paid. Well, when taxes are pulled out of my check, some of those taxes go to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and unemployment insurance. Therefore, as I work I am paying some of the costs of those various programs.

I am ENTITLED to the benefits of those programs, as are all of us because as we work we make a deal with government that we paid into the system and when we retire because of age or infirmity we are guaranteed a social safety net to avoid poverty. The word ENTITLEMENT is being redefined as government giveaway.

I don't think anything is a giveaway, if I've already earned it in my paycheck. Please feel free to correct me...

I'm now going to watch " The Real L word "; I hear it has some real Liberals.