Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Education and crime, what's the difference

When the crime rate in Jacksonville was up and we were the murder capital of the state and had been for years nobody said lets take funds away from the police department and have several different ones take care of our protection. Where there were critics of the police for the most part nobody was saying the police were only in it for a paycheck and that the police union was protecting bad police officers. There was also no suggestion of merit pay for officers who made more arrests. No, we said lets come up with ways to fix the problem. And we did, we put more police on the street, we engaged the citizens to get them involved and we got proactive with our young people. It took awhile, things did not improve over night but our crime rate has steadily gone down.

Yet with schools it seems like there is a significant amount of people and powerful people at that, who think public schools are beyond saving and the whole system should be dismantled. Teachers and unions have become the scapegoats for all the problems despite the fact they don’t set policy. These powers-that-be want to create and pay for with public money competing schools even though they won’t play by the same rules as public schools and will pick and choose whom they take. They with a wink say they want to give vouchers to all but they have to know only those that are already well off will be able to use them.

It would not take reinventing the wheel, breaking the bank or demonizing our teachers to improve things and do so greatly. Lets bring back discipline and have real consequences for behavior. Lets have rigorous classes and safety nets like after school programs and legitimate summer school for those that need more help. Lets have social workers and counselors to figure out why that ten percent of kids try to ruin it for the rest, so often why kids act up at school has nothing to do with school. Lets make the standardized test a component of education not the end all be all that it has become. Then finally lets have multiple curriculums that teach trades, skills and the arts, that play to our children’s strengths, abilities and desires rather than forcing them into the one size fits all curriculum we have now.

When Jacksonville was riddled with crime we rolled up our sleeves and committed the resources to see things improve, we did not dismantle our police force and start over. Why don’t we try to do the same thing with our public schools, don’t our children, all of our children deserve that.

Chris Guerrieri
School Teacher

No comments:

Post a Comment