Opine I will

I am a retired elementary school teacher just trying to do the right thing


Why is our public education system being labeled as failing when graduations rates are at historical highs and achievement gaps are rapidly closing?

Why are teacher’s being categorized as either effective or ineffective based on any test?

Why do we allow communities’ most important asset, its schools, to be chopped up, divided, leased out, closed, neglected, and given away for political gain?

Why are we abusing our children with test prep, test booklets, test coaching, pretests, benchmark tests, posttests, and multi-hour multi day state tests?

Why do very small powerful committees in  46 states think it’s alright to adopt the un- piloted, un-tested Common Core Standards as a prerequisite to a Race to the Top award promise?

Why do these same people turn a blind eye to the very dangerous national social experiment that shuns the very diversity that has made our nation the economic powerhouse and model of the world?

Why would we accept the premise that no one gives a shit what you think?

Why do we allow the decimation of local community schools and think it’s alright to have 5 year old children commute to any school?

Why do we allow the ‘application’ to any local community school?

Why are we closing schools that need improvement instead of improving them?

Why do we continue the segregation of education?

Why do allow any governor to prevent local communities from fully funding their schools via a democratic process?

Why are labor unions suddenly being labeled as the problem, when historically they have prevented and solved many problems?

Why have we abandoned the notion that teachers should be respected?

Why do we ignore poverty and pretend it’s the poor’s fault?

Why do allow companies like Pearson to make billions while many teachers can barely afford to live on their meager salaries in most of this country?

Why have we turned a blind eye to the extensive research on education and instead believe people like Gates, Rhee, Coleman, Stein, and other so called reformers?

Why is it that a country that once was able to build the Empire State Building in one year, built the Interstate system, developed the TVA, and put men on the moon, cannot ensure that our neighborhood schools are in good physical shape?

Why are our children not safe in schools or in their neighborhoods, due to the lack of gun control?

Why are children still coming to school hungry?

Why is it viewed as a terrible thing to ensure all of our nation’s children have adequate health care?

Why are so many of our nation’s teachers being laid off at the same time the stock market is at historical highs?

Why have we lost our way as a nation?

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7 thoughts on “Why?

  1. Instead of pointing to schools as a cure-all, why don’t we fix poverty by…fixing poverty: living wages, healthcare for all, retirement security, access to affordable high-quality early childhood education?

  2. “Why is our public education system being labeled as failing when graduations rates are at historical highs and achievement gaps are rapidly closing?” Probably because, compared to the rest of the world, our academic achievement at graduation is abysmal.

    • That is simply not true. College degrees are also being awarded at historically high levels, including post grad degrees. Here is the data https://rlratto.wordpress.com/?s=Data

      • You misunderstand me. I’m saying that the level of academic rigor (and hence resulting academic understanding) is lower in America than most of the developed world. Our students graduate high school working at a lower level in math and science, in other words. Students in the average eighth grade math classroom at my school, for example, are doing work my wife, who was born and raised in Poland, did in the third and fourth grade. I don’t have to rely on anecdotal evidence, either: study after study proves me right. We’re getting clobbered on the world stage.

  3. Novlette Myers on said:

    Hi Opine eal food for thought. What do you think will change this? Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2013 15:13:47 +0000 To: nhemyers@hotmail.com

  4. OldQuote on said:

    If you have to ask why, then you are part, parcel, and a product of the very failed system you are talking about. In other words… to summarize, you are the problem and there is no fixing it. The rest of us just abandon it for better systems, and that is our local choice. cya! I’ve raised 4 kids in the public school system and now 2 grandkids are also out, with 2 more grands still in the system. That’s just a touch more than 40 years of correcting public schooling efforts. They cannot yet begin to compare to education of my poor public school performance – I wasn’t last in class but I sure was close. And now I am a high end engineer having been employeed by some of the best corps in the world. I hire high school grads and college kids as interns. We have kept one over the last 5 years.
    The rest would be poor performers at the drive thru window, but instead, they are likely to get hired somewhere due to having a degree, maybe, and so goes our US industry.
    Is there any wonder that we are brains, brawn(service), and dependents(welfare, etc)?

  5. It is truly sad that you have such a simplistic view of today’ s issues. Abandoning and labeling society’s neediest is exhibiting ones true colors. Doesn’t seem to be red white and blue to me

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