No real winners, it seems but Teachers did gets something……
It’s hard to say but the Public School System across the Board seems to be faltering. But here in my town is where they went on strike for 9 days. The result is that there are increases in Teacher’s salaries and new things added to the Contract which is both good and in my opinion, controversial. Chicago is said to now be the Template or Example of how Public Schools are to function across the States.
With the advent of such failure in the Classroom, the increasing amount of School Closings, not to mention the Alternative Schools to sometimes meet the needs of Under Performing Students all add to this Mosaic of differences in what I remember Public Schools to be.
Across the Country, the most Famous, Talented, Smart, and Gifted people in the Public and Private Sector were products of Public Schools. Public Schools are challenging and we here in Chicago use the Iowa Test of Basic Skills as our Guides to skills and learning. The Iowa testing is good because it is used by a Cross section of Cultures to compare.
Today, however, you might ask a student which Continent is Skull shaped and which is the second Continent that has a smaller Skull shape. Expect to receive, for the most part, a blank look. These types of learning aren’t emphasized too much these days. I was glad to hear the Mayor Rahm Emanuel say he wanted more Music, Recess, Math, Geometry, etc. in the schools. Does this mean that some schools were not including these subjects? I knew about the missing Gyms, the non-existent Recesses but the core classes? I found that insulting and surprising. How can children learn this way? Curriculums should be full circle, or I thought!
Even though people spend a lot of time looking back and claiming to come from a better generation, Educationally many of us did. Teachers in Grade and High School were firm and no-nonsense and Parents didn’t arrive to attack the Teachers for little Johnny’s claims. Neither were students so unruly, unfocused. We looked at the Classes for Children with Special Needs in fear, hoping we were never cast in those rooms, so we made sure that we operated on a Primary Level. In short, coming out of High School and without a Major Degree could land us in a Career Position. We were taught CORE literacy and Math. Not that it is wise not to pursue Higher Learning and not that I didn’t pursue Higher Learning to a Degree, but if I didn’t want to, I could still garner a Career Position. Many did just that.