Sunday, April 17, 2011

Going On and On

There is so much debate and anger and vitriol going on about schools lately. In the end, what I am thinking about it all boils down to a few things.

1. More money does not provide a better education. You've probably heard this over and over, but my school district is pushing the opposite like crazy since the state is cutting back on funding for all public schools. That is, they are pushing for more money from the local taxpayers by asking us, "You don't want to lose the great school district you have, do you?" I'm not sure if they are deluded enough to believe more money makes a better school district, or if they just want the money. I mean, all of you know that here in the USA, many of the school districts that receive the most funding per child, like our very own Washington, DC, perform the worst academically.

I won't deny that this whole formula can be complicated. There are many wealthy families that live in this school district, which could be used as an argument that of course our schools are better. But my family is far from rich, and there are many less than wealthy neighborhoods in this town. The main issue, I think, is people wanting their children to perform up to their potential. Some parents here do ground their kids for less than an A. I don't agree with that, but I think my kids are more than capable of doing mostly A and B level work, and I wouldn't be happy if they were consistently getting Cs and Ds. Mr. BTEG and I also expect them to pay attention in class, study for tests and do their homework, which goes a long way.

Sure, wealthy families and fancy technology and flashy new textbooks can contribute to a good school district. On the other hand, kids from wealthy families can also spend their time doing drugs and having sex. And a teacher who can't educate without an electronic whiteboard and the latest textbook doesn't really deserve the title of teacher.

2. Teachers cannot be immune to economic downturns. I can understand that teachers don't like the idea of no raises, and/or having to pay more for their pensions and health care, maybe even taking a salary cut. But when unemployment is high and the economy is bad, teachers just can't expect not to have to suffer a little financially as well. It's not always about "greed." Look at how your neighbors are doing, how your city is doing, how your state is doing, before you complain.

Oh, and a pet peeve of mine. Teachers are important. So are firefighters, policemen, EMS workers, doctors, nurses, etc. A small collective of people paying salaries simply can't afford to pay all these important people an "important" salary. An actress can't save a life, but she can get more people to see one of her movies on one day alone than a doctor can see in an entire year. For that matter, I think being a mother, the kind that works hard to raise decent human beings, is the most important job there is. But there is absolutely no pay at all for us. Salary does not equal overall worth.

A lot of words for only two points! But this topic is so loaded that I wanted to make myself clear. Thank you if you made it this far!


Cheryl said...

Barb, it was not at all hard to make it to the end of your post. Very good thoughts all the way around.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Thank you so much, Cheryl!

Cheryl said...

You are very welcome! I hope your physical condition improves for the weekend and continues improving far beyond. I have always taken my health for granted but the older I get the more I realize how much the way you feel physically affects every other aspect of your life. God bless and give you patience and strength with the health issues you are facing.

Barb the Evil Genius said...

Thank you so much, Cheryl. That means a great deal.