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Friday, June 22, 2012

The Times Union gets one right about education and then gets one wrong. (rough draft)

When we look at the statistics they say kids that don’t live in poverty zoom to the top of the international rankings that have us all worrying about America’s slipping status in the world.

So what is failing? Our schools that are often under funded and/or saddled with bad policies that can’t overtake the effects of poverty, or is it a society that allows a fifth of our kids to live in poverty and just another fifth above it?

The Times Union points out that our schools where poverty isn’t a factor are the best in the world and that’s what they got right.

They then point out that some schools in the county are able to overcome poverty but it’s not sustainable and because they don’t dig behind the numbers that’s what they get wrong.

When schools like Pine Dale, Terry Parker and Forrest high kick their worst kids out and limit their enrollment, something public schools aren’t supposed to do of course their numbers will temporarily rise. Get rid of the worse hundred kids and that’s what is going to happen but like most improvements in the city it is all smoke and mirrors.

If the district truly wants to improve it has to slow down and do things the right way. Rigorous classes so kids can learn a work ethic. Disciplined schools so kids can learn consequences for their behavior and we need to stop treating teachers like second-class citizens and over burdening them with superfluous task after task. Motivated and enthused educators will do a much better job than the rock bottom morale staff we have now. Throw in more mandatory summer school, more trades, skills and art education and social worker and counselors into our struggling schools and then we will be cooking with gas.

Until we do those things, it is all spinning our wheels in the muck.

So Times Union thanks for getting one right and for finally writing an education editorial where you don’t blame teachers but it is time you stopped covering for the district too.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently your state education left a little to be desired. A change based on percentages is proportional. Your state would, all else being equal, need the the same investment, percentage-wise, as Montana to improve.