Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Schools: a reflection of the community

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I just finished reading a column in the Albany Times Union  written by Questar III superintendent James Baldwin about the results from the round of testing that took place this spring in our schools.  This article just added confirmation to the feeling I have been gradually acquiring for decades that schools are a mirror of the community. Testing is measuring the community, and by that I do not mean just the school community. I mean the while darn thing.
There is a whole slew of people around who seem to think that schools drive the community: you can tell those the way that talk about "the work force of tomorrow"  and other such stock phrases.  Those people are the ones constantly campaigning for some new school reform or another with the goal in mind of "making America number 1 again!"
These people are putting the cart before the horse. These people would see global warming and try to fight it by redesigning a thermometer.
In order for our schools to get better and stronger, our whole country must get better and stronger. We have to build better buildings for our schools. We have to make better movies and TV shows for the youth of America.  We have to feed the whole country better if we expect children to eat better. We have to have better lives with the kids before we can expect them to live better without us. We need to take pride in educating our youth outside of school before we can expect them to take pride in educating themselves inside of school.

Change all the tests and curricula you want. Nothing will work unless and until the community makes a solid effort to change itself.

I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but if you want to get a sense of any local area in this country, visit its school(s).

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