Sixty years after Brown v. Board of Education, America still has a long way to go! Although we all have a right to be educated equally, that is failing to happen. America falls so far behind many other nations. Many point the finger to today’s generation lackadaisical attitude towards learning. This is definitely a factor. However I would be remiss to point out the lazy teachers that are uninterested in teaching, who don’t hold students accountable for learning and pass them to the next grade even if they haven’t mastered grade level skills. As a friend so eloquently phrased it, “we are failing our kids because we are scared to fail our kids”!
I can’t for the life of me understand how a 3rd grader who can’t read ends up a 10th grader who still can’t read?!?! They fail classes and test but are passed to the next grade because administration wants to cover up failure! Instead of being concerned about the disservice they are doing to these children, they are more concerned with stats and how they will look. Not to mention in our education system, we test more than we teach! A third grader takes an average of six to eight major tests per year aside from the standard class test and quizzes. Low test scores are sometimes indicative of a teacher’s incompetence yet children are exposed to unnecessary stress and strain while teachers are allowed to work year after year beneath standards.
Recently, my own child’s class was given a North Carolina End of Grade practice packet as a disciplinary method for her class’ unruly behavior. They were offered no assistance and penalized during the grading process for incorrect answers which were subsequently never reviewed with them or corrected. Grades were never entered in the system for parent review nor were students given an opportunity to review the material to better prepare for the test. Although my child did great on the EOG test, I complained but the officials for the school along with the national academy stood by their actions. This practice test that should’ve been used as an opportunity for review to better prepare students for the test, instead sent the message that correlates test with punishment.
Not many would argue that American teachers are truly underpaid. This may be the reason that we have lost and will continue to lose quality teachers. This may also be the reason that administrators turn a blind eye to the human standing in the classroom that has no business teaching simply because it’s a warm body. At one time, teachers were right where they wanted to be and doing what they loved which was teaching. Those great teachers still exist but bad ass kids raised by bad ass older kids have them looking for other careers (I’ll blast those hellions running away good teachers in another blog).
Today, many classrooms are filled with individuals who failed to accomplish their own life goals and therefore decided teaching would at least bring in a steady paycheck. However, they have no passion to teach! The adults that do have a genuine desire to educate are left unsupported, overworked and underpaid. Yet we wonder why American educated students are the last chosen for jobs! I’m sick of it and this writing is just one step in Shemeka Michelle v. the Board of Education.