Sunday, January 25, 2009
I wonder all the time about people's perceptions of public schools. There is still a strong belief in the myth of private schools being "better" than public schools. That, and the fact that public schools are in decline...always in decline.
I suppose if one perceives a school as a tidy place where kids sit in tight little rows, rarely speak, and take multiple choice tests, or live, play, move, run, hide, eat, sleep, and learn in a world where everyone looks the same, then many private schools will do just fine.
Maybe I'm just bitter when people give up on public schools. I know a few folks who recently decided to send their non-Catholic kids to Catholic schools. They believe the schools are safer, more orderly, probably better places to educate their kids. These decisions don't always involve, nor can they involve the kids themselves. They often don't take into consideration the curriculum each school offers. Sadly, many folks are turning their backs on public schools.
I've met a few people, conversely, who see the big picture and courageously support public schools not only by sending their children, but by becoming involved in the school community and informing themselves about the issues and climate that teachers face daily. To me, that's patriotism.
I'm waiting for another "patriot" to come forward and have some faith in the American worker. This week, more and more new stories about thousands losing their jobs emerged. Whole sections of this country are imploding. Perhaps our new president would do well to take a page from FDR's book and help create a new 21st century version of a National Recovery Act. Who will be courageous enough to say to the workforce dumped by our failing and flailing economy here's what I'm going to do. What corporate genius or philanthropist, or entrepreneur, or risk taker will step up and commit to saving the American workforce.
Without our schools and our workers, who are we? Who will or have we become?
How does a nation collectively look at it's priorities? How does it determine what occupations are most valuable?