Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Waiting for Superman

So I saw Waiting For Superman and it was just as depressing as I thought it would be. Our schools are a mess. Check. We had to pretty much do what a lot of parents must do now, and that is to lottery or permit your way into a better school. That is really just wrong on so many different levels.

Our “home school” is close by and in a beautiful neighborhood surrounded by expensive homes. And I know not one of those kids living in those homes goes to that school because after we toured it, we realized it was a mess. We have neighbors with young kids on either side of us, neither sends their kids to our “home school”.

One thought is, well, if your school is bad, get involved and make it better. Sorry, don’t have time for that and that’s really the principal’s job. Why would I subject my child to a bad school when I can send her to a better one down the road and get involved there, thus making a good school even greater? It takes years to make a school better, even with strong PTA involvement and by that time your child has already paid the price.

The movie focuses a lot on the teachers unions and while their tenure is a problem (It is next to impossible to fire an incompetent teacher) there are many other problems. Lack of funding and all sorts of bureaucracy hinders the evolution of our schools.

And our schools NEED to evolve. They just have to. We have an unemployment crisis in this country and high tech jobs are going unfilled because of a lack of education and training.

So fix it. The solutions seem so simple. Eliminate tenure. Lengthen the school day (no parent would be against that) Increase the funding. Stop having teachers pay for school supplies. Eliminate waste from the top down, not the bottom up as most companies do. Cut administrators and salaries at the top and work your way down to the teachers. Without good teachers, there is no education system.

I’m not trying to get on a high horse here, but this affects everyone, not just people with kids. As the film shows a bad school pours hundreds of uneducated, unmotivated kids back into the community. What are they going to do? What CAN they do? Not work at Oracle, that’s for sure.
Right now we are in a good grade school. But what about middle school? Then it starts all over again… but I’m already exhausted.

© Copyright • Chris Mancini • All Rights Reserved • Site by Izzy Design