Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Guts of Education

Dear politicians, 

I don't fully understand your plans for education. At least in the sense of how they're going work for the betterment of a learning environment. 

So, getting ahead?

In Chicago, 160 schools don't have libraries. Is not addressing that part of the plan to help kids meet and exceed reading standards? How do you get kids excited to explore books and foster their reading skills? Especially since there aren't any Borders around, don't use free market economics to say they can go to the store and get some books. Especially in the case of poor kids. Many don't have playgrounds for recess, or gyms. Running around and playing has been backed by psychologists as important for developing creativity. By limiting such, as well as art, music, drama. Is this how we're going to prepare the next generation of innovators? And on another note, keeping health care costs down, by allowing a lack of opportunity for physical fitness for many youths slide, will this prepare them for a healthy lifestyle, or does diabetes, heart disease and obesity not weigh down health care costs?

Back to the topic at hand. Longer hours, less pay, larger class sizes for teachers and punishing them if their students don't do well on standardized tests. Bogging teachers down, exhausting them, riddling them with fear, is this going to keep everyone sharp in the classroom? Is this going to attract the best and the brightest to make a career in the classroom, or should we take advantage of the good nature of dedicated teachers who already donate extra time outside of scheduled classes and chastise them for not doing enough? Mush mush!

I don't know...if you have information proving that these things promote academic success, do sell us on it, please. Instead of harassing teachers behind closed doors and villainizing them when they stick up for themselves. You talk about how times are tough, how we need to share in the sacrifice. Rahm Emmanuel, his school board, his CEO, his executives all have their salaries preserved and off the cutting board. 

Anyway, I'd really like to know how your education plans are going to work. It's all rhetoric with a framework of cheapening, at least as far as what you're currently showing us. No real specifics are being laid out by your campaigns, aside from an agenda of trimming and scaring teachers while waving pictures of children with puppy dog eyes. Ah, the emotional appeal, kind of a redundant tactic. Lipo-suctioning the guts out of educational resources doesn't excite me personally. Show us differently, please.


Jeff Phillips

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