Friday, February 22, 2013

Public Education: Lots of Initiatives, Same Scenario

Education

One thing on which we can all agree is that the public education system is not doing right by our children. We must, therefore, be very concerned about the way in which our education system is failing our children, especially working class, poor, and minority children across the country. With all the initiatives of the past thirty years, from A Nation at Risk, to No Child Left Behind, to Race to the Top, the scenario remains the same, a public school system in disarray. Someone has to be blamed, right? Well, depending on the angle from which the problem is viewed the culprit could be the teachers, the challenges of poverty, poor parental involvement, lack of government funding, or the teachers' union. For sure, teachers need to stay sharp and continue honing their skills, parents and teachers must work together in partnership towards the children success, the problem of poverty must be addressed, the union must balance the needs of its constituents with the needs of the children, adequate funding must be maintained, and federal and state governments should not abdicate their responsibility to ensure children this basic civil right. In whatever manner we look at things there is an urgency here. Something must be done, and fast. I will not pretend to know what that "something" might be, but whatever it is, it must be well thought-out and have in view that which is best for our children and not our own agendas. The education of our children is not a game or something to be messed with. It is not a financial burden or a marketing opportunity. It is a civil right, a sacred trust, our own survival. The clock is ticking.

[Photographic Art by Ric Couchman]