This post came to me last night as I was talking to a family friend, and her daughter is going to be enrolled into kindergarten next year. We talked about the options she had between charter schools, homeschooled, the lottery system, or just enrolling into the nearest school.
One of the things I miss about living out here in California is the educational options you have. You don’t like your school, fine, you can home school, go to a charter school, or apply into a lotto system to send your child somewhere else. All funded by tax dollars. Yes, taxes are higher here, but it’s one of the things that are included in paying for your taxes.
To me I see it as walking down a grocery aisle. You want pizza. You have the choice of tombstone, Tony’s DiGiorno’s, local brands, and store brands. You choose what you want based on price or taste. Pay for it, go about your way.
Same should be said with education for your kids. If you are paying taxes where ever you live, you should be able to have that choice with judgement, or scare tactics. I write this, because I’m on the fence of leaving my child in school in the traditional sense. She loves her school, and so do I, but with all, not just the common core, but all the changes I’ve seen to improve the system, I’m not happy. I don’t blame her school, because they are doing what they are told to remain open to educate.
Before I continue, this is somewhat of a rant post, but also an eye opener too. If you don’t want to read, I understand, but give it a chance before you blow it off.
One of the first things I notices to go was the arts in general. That is apart of education inside and outside the school or home. I remember as a kid having more time for computers, art, library, music and P.E. Now, I’m all for P.E. classes, I mean I wa a child of the 80s/90s where dodgeball and kickball was the norm. I loved it. Here’s the thing, don’t give more time for that class, and then gut the class. Some of the game my daughter comes home and says they play I give a double take.
“What the heck game is that?”
You then have more time devoted to that, but hardly anything given to the other classes. Ok, here’s the dilemma. If you don’t introduce these aspects, you begin to lose out on the possibly of creating interest in these areas. That happens, you lose out on potential artists, musicians, writers, and etc. Some children don’t come from homes that can afford to do these things outside of school, so they are exposed while in school.
Next was the blasted testing. Now I was tested once a year, based on what we were taught already. Not the system now, where we are devoting half the year to gear up for testing, to include common core math. I never seen so much math homework come home in my life. Now, you want to change math, teach the real world issues, like how to balance your checkbook. How to measure out 1/4 cup. How to use percentages in making deals to buy a car/house. How to fix a shirt, instead of buying a new one because your missing a button. How to give change if you paying for something. Hell, how to tip a waitress. When all the math that came home with my youngest, none of it covers that. They went over multiplication/division acts for a week and moved on. The same with telling time(which is crucial in the real world), and basic geometry. Now, from what I remember, learning this stuff takes time, time you would have if you weren’t worried about testing. Here’s the kicker. Anyone who has attended college knows it’s not about the tests. It’s what you’re absorbing. It’s the discussions, and course work you have to do to get you through the course. So tell me why we are stressing these kids out for testing when real world doesn’t work like that.
I mean they aren’t teaching cursive, which you need to know so you can sign documents, and removed foreign language requirements to graduate. Really? I want my children to be ready for college, not confused or dumbed down.
Lastly, the changes don’t include special needs children at all. Because in this system, though they sell you on “we have the resources to teach you child no worries”, it’s not necessarily true. Each school receives an amount of money for your child to attend. Special Needs children receive more than your average child. Of course they don’t want you to remove your child, that’s money lost. Here’s the thing, with these changes, do they include your child who can’t grasp the new changes because of a reading comprehension problem all the way to the end of severe health issues? Of course not, but if you want to remove your child to give them a better chance, you are met with tons of red tape or scare tactics of what may happen.
Lets be real, I’m saying this in the sense that no employer is going to hire someone who takes 10-20 to solve a problem that should be solved in 2 minutes. They want a person who is diverse in ALL subjects. You can awesome in math, but if the communication or creativity isn’t there, you aren’t making that person money.
Take it a step further. In the 50s and 60s, education was taught on a case by case basis. In other words, teachers talked with parents to see what goals the child had for the future. Their education was based on that. They talked about issues they had, and worked together to make things work. The reason why I say this, is because I feel we walked away from this in a sense. That parents didn’t have a say in any changes made to our system. Even if your child is excelling in math, for example, when did the changes get to be so off that you had to spend close to family vacation to have little Sammy in art, karate, foreign language classes?
I think about my children’s’ future all the time. I saw the changes even when I was still in school, as did my mother. She removed me at the age of 16, and homeschooled my brother. Prior to that, we were raised in a home that embraced college education. We learned things through my mother attending college while we were in school, and also have teachers and principals on both sides of the family. We both started college at the age of 16, through public funding. My mother now has her bachelors, and masters. My brother, who is ADHD, has his Bachelors, and working on his masters in psychology. It was learning with options is why we have excelled like we have.
Want change? Me too, I also want options if I don’t like the change. I also want to see changes as a whole for the better to include everyone, not just the majority. I also want to be included in these changes, since tax payers money are being used to make these changes.
We need more options. We deserve more than just what is thrown at us, no matter what side of the aisle your on, it’s an issue. I will keep stating this until people really start thinking about it as a whole. You want to compete with other countries? Look at France, they have public schooling start at the age of 2.5 years old. The Chinese start writing and math early, along with the arts. It’s an equal exposure to it all. You want to change things to compete, take a look around at others. If you want the change start earlier, when kids are sponges, and don’t charge out the butt to do it. These other countries do their systems based on public funding, not just private schooling.
Just a thought…..