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Crumpets and Bollocks: The Hypocrisy of Education

The Hypocrisy of Education

This could be a thesis paper... Aspiring teachers here you go.

Mark Twain I have never let my schooling interfere with my education
I went to school as a kid believe it or not; you can tell by all my bad grammar and run-ons, and now I'm going back to school as a parent dropping my kids off. You think you are done with school when you are done with school, but no. As a parent, I'm still judged harshly for my ability to "follow the rules," whether it's about attendance or how I walk in the parking lot. I may not get a report card, but I'm still subjected to the labels teachers give students and parents. Those involved in extra-curricular activities like PTA meetings, activity in fundraisers, and volunteer efforts are the preferred parents. You can beat the crap out of your kids on the regular, and as far as the school is concerned, you are a great parent if your kid shows up every day, on time, with homework completed that you had to do. And you are a perfect parent (which doesn't actually exist) if you sell the most in a fundraiser and showed up in decent clothing to the PTA meetings. It's like you stepped foot into a Wonderland ruled by the Queen of Hearts.

As a parent, I'm graded every day on some invisible report card by the same schools I thought I escaped via graduation. But, as a taxpayer, I get to grade the school back.

There are certain institutions in this world we hold to a higher level. You would think with all the education required to teach or serve on the board of education that these educated minds are beyond the illogical sequence behind hypocrisy. You would think they would make more logical sense in their policy and system than some place like your local bar and grille, but no, even the strip joint has a system that is more logical and less shady than our education system.

I can't believe nobody recognizes these things enough to complain about it on a regular basis.

1. Education neglect.


The schools will place education neglect charges on the parents of children who miss a lot of school, regardless the reason whether it's illness or the parent just didn't feel like getting the kid ready and drop them off. The reason behind it is that the children have to be present every day for the full day in order to obtain their education properly. It's important. Studies have shown that students with a good attendance record in as far back as elementary school are more apt to graduate.

Those studies do not mean that students who graduated did so because they weren't absent a lot as kids. More than likely, those studies only show statistics of parents who place a high priority on public education. Correlation does not prove causation, and anyone who claims to be educated and doesn't understand that isn't educated. They were products of real education neglect.

But the hypocrisy is that the schools will tell you how important it is for your kid to be there. It's so important, they will imprison and fine any parent who doesn't force their kid to go every day. However, they are quick to suspend and expel students based on "behavior," which means most of the time, favoritism and labels. They are quick to tell you that your child is not welcome there until immunizations are caught up. In fact, when the school is the reason your child cannot attend, that absence is the parent's fault.

In addition, many schools cannot pass AYP (Annual Yearly Progress). There's a million variables behind why a school doesn't pass AYP, but a school who can't make AYP should be education neglect on the school's part. Period.

When a school passes a kid who isn't ready for the next grade, that is the real education neglect. When children graduate high school thinking "LOL" is a real word and Texas is its own country, that is the real education neglect. When people graduate who cannot solve a simple algebraic equation, that is the real education neglect. When educators graduate twisting correlation into causation and even worse, apply it as such, that is a sign of double education neglect (the educator neglected a real education, and the people in the educator's system being neglected a real educated due to the illiteracy of the educator). Yet when a parent's child misses more than 5 days for illness, they are the ones charged with education neglect. Parents are the only ones who can face prison and fines for education neglect.

2.  Free education.


Education is not free just like freedom isn't free. They need funding, and it being provided by the government instead of tuition makes it free to students and parents so that every person has equal opportunity. That was the point. Equal opportunity. The poor should have access to the same opportunities as the rich, at least when it comes to education.

But it doesn't work that way in the real world. In the real world, the poorer schools have less funding than the wealthier schools. Somehow, government funds end up going to the "better" schools neglecting the ones that don't look so hot on paper. Fundraisers make it worse because students who have money to buy their own stuff make more money for the school than students who can't afford to purchase a vegetable chopper that will fall apart on a potato and magazine subscriptions. The class system is designed to keep poor people friends with poor people, and rich people friends with rich people. They live in the same neighborhoods. Which increases how fundraising raises more funds for the "better schools" than it does for the ones who slipped into the cracks of the system.

But even then, your basic education should be available free. Today's job market is different than it was decades ago. Twenty years ago, you could land a good job with a high school diploma alone. Today, a high school diploma without any college lands you the same job as if you dropped out of high school. Minimum wage. The free education does not, anymore, offer equal opportunity. Only students who can afford college receive any real opportunity. Grants do not usually cover the full cost of education. Student loans are impossible to pay back anymore and set most students finishing school thousands of dollars in debt to start life whereas the wealthy have a clean slate, a trust fund, and oodles of networking when they hunt for their first job.

In order for education to again be an equal opportunity ordeal, we have to make the Bachelor's Degree a publicly funded education.

My personal idea for a solution to this is to tweak high school curriculum to offer college credits for every class, enough to graduate with a degree. Thanks to technology, schools can offer online classes with an online university paid for by the state, especially for specialty job-specific classes. Not all classes would be replaced with a new college professor. Freshman English could be tweaked to offer 6 credits for English Comp 1 and English Comp 2 taught by the same teacher who has been teaching it for decades. Honestly, my high school classes were harder than those offered through my community college. The reason being, high school is designed to prepare students to enter a university like Harvard for the smart ones and the state university for the average. The community college is designed to give people who haven't been to school in a decade a piece of paper that says they are educated. Combining the two worlds would be more productive and make more logical sense in this day and age than keeping them separate.

3.  Special Education


The IEP is designed to grant schools IDEA funds for every child that requires special services. It's also designed for parents and teachers to sit down together to establish goals for their child and figure out which services the child needs and qualifies for.

In real life, the IEP is often misused. Many educators use it as a label for deficiency and behavior disorders than they do as a tool to help a child overcome a learning disability. There's also many stories about the abuse of special needs children, by educators and adults, as a normal part of the special education services. It's part of the system. Part of the child's average day often includes some form of abuse or neglect parents are unaware of. Not every school is like that, but the stories of issues parents face in this realm are so overwhelmingly large that it should be worthy of reform.

It amazes me how so many educators, people who have a Master's Degree in Education and Early Childhood Development, are so quick to mock and criticize the special needs. It's almost as if there was never an Ethics course offered in their curriculum. Was there?

In addition, there is a history of schools telling you how to treat your child's diagnosis that lands them the IEP. Some schools refuse to take your child if your child is not medicated, as if their Masters in Education is equivalent to Medical School. Some will also tell you how you should parent. Others will tell you what your child needs, without a care to your opinion. IN fact, if you disagree with them on what you child needs in an attempt to advocate for your kid, knowing the schools do not know this child enough to diagnose a treatment plan let alone are qualified to do such a thing, you risk having child protection services called on you.

And it's not enough to tell you how to treat your child's diagnosis, many schools will try to diagnose your kid for you. Many parents are faced being forced to get an assessment done on their child through the schools or through professional services they cannot afford over an unqualified opinion.

There are oodles of stories of kids who a teacher thought was ADHD and the parent was told, "You have to get him diagnosed with ADHD and medicate with stimulants or your kid isn't welcome here," and there was one instance in Colorado where the child did not have ADHD according to the shrinks and the father lost custody of his child temporarily for not medicating his kid. Health neglect.

4. Bullying


My state supposedly has the toughest anti-bullying policy out there, yet there is no enforcement of it outside of the occasional parent suing the school system.

Children are taught during the Character Ed class at my kid's school that bullying is wrong, followed by "tattletaling is bad too." In other words, don't bully kids, and if you are bullied, don't bother us grown ups with it. If I parented that way, I'd lose my kids.

Meanwhile, if any of my children are bullied, I wouldn't know what to do. There is no place to fill out a form. No person to call to oversee the protection of the children. I could probably find an anti-bullying policy somewhere on the internet for my state, but who do I bring the case to? There is no judge in the system to say, "hey that was bullying, I sentence the bully to community service and time with a shrink." There is no person to run to with the problem, and the parent has no control over what happens in school to do something themselves. The principal is the only person you can go to, and they don't have to do anything about it. They won't lose their job if they tell you to get over it, or that they are on it and the problem doesn't go away as if nothing was done.

Not to mention, oftentimes the bully is a teacher or principal. Who do you run to with that? The regular courts in a lawsuit, one that will label you one of those people who are quick to sue over anything. There should be a policy that enforces the anti-bullying policy. It's really hypocritical to have a policy that you don't enforce. Period.

With my own daughter, I've stopped letting her ride the bus, and I now drive her to school because of a harassing bully. My nephew, after attempting to switch schools too many times, is now homeschooled to escape bullying from kids who get away with it and from educators. Because he's special needs, nobody gives him any credibility. He's the crazy one, so any time a kid punches him for no reason or a teacher ignorantly ignores the IEP and fuels a meltdown, it's somehow his fault.

When I say we need education reform, I don't mean we need longer days or that we need to introduce common core concepts. I mean we need to actually reform the system. A good start would be to approach the hypocrisy in the system. I only touched on the top 4 that came to my mind here, but there's so much more to this than this. For instance, instead of common core math, why not just teach students to count in different base systems before the onset of addition? Even better, I'd like to see a study done of what age kids absorb that information best and introduce it then. For another instance, we could squeeze most of school to half days and keep teachers full time separating the class into morning and afternoons to create smaller classrooms.

What we really need to do is listen to this guy...




Labels: , , , , ,

Crumpets and Bollocks: The Hypocrisy of Education

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Hypocrisy of Education

This could be a thesis paper... Aspiring teachers here you go.

Mark Twain I have never let my schooling interfere with my education
I went to school as a kid believe it or not; you can tell by all my bad grammar and run-ons, and now I'm going back to school as a parent dropping my kids off. You think you are done with school when you are done with school, but no. As a parent, I'm still judged harshly for my ability to "follow the rules," whether it's about attendance or how I walk in the parking lot. I may not get a report card, but I'm still subjected to the labels teachers give students and parents. Those involved in extra-curricular activities like PTA meetings, activity in fundraisers, and volunteer efforts are the preferred parents. You can beat the crap out of your kids on the regular, and as far as the school is concerned, you are a great parent if your kid shows up every day, on time, with homework completed that you had to do. And you are a perfect parent (which doesn't actually exist) if you sell the most in a fundraiser and showed up in decent clothing to the PTA meetings. It's like you stepped foot into a Wonderland ruled by the Queen of Hearts.

As a parent, I'm graded every day on some invisible report card by the same schools I thought I escaped via graduation. But, as a taxpayer, I get to grade the school back.

There are certain institutions in this world we hold to a higher level. You would think with all the education required to teach or serve on the board of education that these educated minds are beyond the illogical sequence behind hypocrisy. You would think they would make more logical sense in their policy and system than some place like your local bar and grille, but no, even the strip joint has a system that is more logical and less shady than our education system.

I can't believe nobody recognizes these things enough to complain about it on a regular basis.

1. Education neglect.


The schools will place education neglect charges on the parents of children who miss a lot of school, regardless the reason whether it's illness or the parent just didn't feel like getting the kid ready and drop them off. The reason behind it is that the children have to be present every day for the full day in order to obtain their education properly. It's important. Studies have shown that students with a good attendance record in as far back as elementary school are more apt to graduate.

Those studies do not mean that students who graduated did so because they weren't absent a lot as kids. More than likely, those studies only show statistics of parents who place a high priority on public education. Correlation does not prove causation, and anyone who claims to be educated and doesn't understand that isn't educated. They were products of real education neglect.

But the hypocrisy is that the schools will tell you how important it is for your kid to be there. It's so important, they will imprison and fine any parent who doesn't force their kid to go every day. However, they are quick to suspend and expel students based on "behavior," which means most of the time, favoritism and labels. They are quick to tell you that your child is not welcome there until immunizations are caught up. In fact, when the school is the reason your child cannot attend, that absence is the parent's fault.

In addition, many schools cannot pass AYP (Annual Yearly Progress). There's a million variables behind why a school doesn't pass AYP, but a school who can't make AYP should be education neglect on the school's part. Period.

When a school passes a kid who isn't ready for the next grade, that is the real education neglect. When children graduate high school thinking "LOL" is a real word and Texas is its own country, that is the real education neglect. When people graduate who cannot solve a simple algebraic equation, that is the real education neglect. When educators graduate twisting correlation into causation and even worse, apply it as such, that is a sign of double education neglect (the educator neglected a real education, and the people in the educator's system being neglected a real educated due to the illiteracy of the educator). Yet when a parent's child misses more than 5 days for illness, they are the ones charged with education neglect. Parents are the only ones who can face prison and fines for education neglect.

2.  Free education.


Education is not free just like freedom isn't free. They need funding, and it being provided by the government instead of tuition makes it free to students and parents so that every person has equal opportunity. That was the point. Equal opportunity. The poor should have access to the same opportunities as the rich, at least when it comes to education.

But it doesn't work that way in the real world. In the real world, the poorer schools have less funding than the wealthier schools. Somehow, government funds end up going to the "better" schools neglecting the ones that don't look so hot on paper. Fundraisers make it worse because students who have money to buy their own stuff make more money for the school than students who can't afford to purchase a vegetable chopper that will fall apart on a potato and magazine subscriptions. The class system is designed to keep poor people friends with poor people, and rich people friends with rich people. They live in the same neighborhoods. Which increases how fundraising raises more funds for the "better schools" than it does for the ones who slipped into the cracks of the system.

But even then, your basic education should be available free. Today's job market is different than it was decades ago. Twenty years ago, you could land a good job with a high school diploma alone. Today, a high school diploma without any college lands you the same job as if you dropped out of high school. Minimum wage. The free education does not, anymore, offer equal opportunity. Only students who can afford college receive any real opportunity. Grants do not usually cover the full cost of education. Student loans are impossible to pay back anymore and set most students finishing school thousands of dollars in debt to start life whereas the wealthy have a clean slate, a trust fund, and oodles of networking when they hunt for their first job.

In order for education to again be an equal opportunity ordeal, we have to make the Bachelor's Degree a publicly funded education.

My personal idea for a solution to this is to tweak high school curriculum to offer college credits for every class, enough to graduate with a degree. Thanks to technology, schools can offer online classes with an online university paid for by the state, especially for specialty job-specific classes. Not all classes would be replaced with a new college professor. Freshman English could be tweaked to offer 6 credits for English Comp 1 and English Comp 2 taught by the same teacher who has been teaching it for decades. Honestly, my high school classes were harder than those offered through my community college. The reason being, high school is designed to prepare students to enter a university like Harvard for the smart ones and the state university for the average. The community college is designed to give people who haven't been to school in a decade a piece of paper that says they are educated. Combining the two worlds would be more productive and make more logical sense in this day and age than keeping them separate.

3.  Special Education


The IEP is designed to grant schools IDEA funds for every child that requires special services. It's also designed for parents and teachers to sit down together to establish goals for their child and figure out which services the child needs and qualifies for.

In real life, the IEP is often misused. Many educators use it as a label for deficiency and behavior disorders than they do as a tool to help a child overcome a learning disability. There's also many stories about the abuse of special needs children, by educators and adults, as a normal part of the special education services. It's part of the system. Part of the child's average day often includes some form of abuse or neglect parents are unaware of. Not every school is like that, but the stories of issues parents face in this realm are so overwhelmingly large that it should be worthy of reform.

It amazes me how so many educators, people who have a Master's Degree in Education and Early Childhood Development, are so quick to mock and criticize the special needs. It's almost as if there was never an Ethics course offered in their curriculum. Was there?

In addition, there is a history of schools telling you how to treat your child's diagnosis that lands them the IEP. Some schools refuse to take your child if your child is not medicated, as if their Masters in Education is equivalent to Medical School. Some will also tell you how you should parent. Others will tell you what your child needs, without a care to your opinion. IN fact, if you disagree with them on what you child needs in an attempt to advocate for your kid, knowing the schools do not know this child enough to diagnose a treatment plan let alone are qualified to do such a thing, you risk having child protection services called on you.

And it's not enough to tell you how to treat your child's diagnosis, many schools will try to diagnose your kid for you. Many parents are faced being forced to get an assessment done on their child through the schools or through professional services they cannot afford over an unqualified opinion.

There are oodles of stories of kids who a teacher thought was ADHD and the parent was told, "You have to get him diagnosed with ADHD and medicate with stimulants or your kid isn't welcome here," and there was one instance in Colorado where the child did not have ADHD according to the shrinks and the father lost custody of his child temporarily for not medicating his kid. Health neglect.

4. Bullying


My state supposedly has the toughest anti-bullying policy out there, yet there is no enforcement of it outside of the occasional parent suing the school system.

Children are taught during the Character Ed class at my kid's school that bullying is wrong, followed by "tattletaling is bad too." In other words, don't bully kids, and if you are bullied, don't bother us grown ups with it. If I parented that way, I'd lose my kids.

Meanwhile, if any of my children are bullied, I wouldn't know what to do. There is no place to fill out a form. No person to call to oversee the protection of the children. I could probably find an anti-bullying policy somewhere on the internet for my state, but who do I bring the case to? There is no judge in the system to say, "hey that was bullying, I sentence the bully to community service and time with a shrink." There is no person to run to with the problem, and the parent has no control over what happens in school to do something themselves. The principal is the only person you can go to, and they don't have to do anything about it. They won't lose their job if they tell you to get over it, or that they are on it and the problem doesn't go away as if nothing was done.

Not to mention, oftentimes the bully is a teacher or principal. Who do you run to with that? The regular courts in a lawsuit, one that will label you one of those people who are quick to sue over anything. There should be a policy that enforces the anti-bullying policy. It's really hypocritical to have a policy that you don't enforce. Period.

With my own daughter, I've stopped letting her ride the bus, and I now drive her to school because of a harassing bully. My nephew, after attempting to switch schools too many times, is now homeschooled to escape bullying from kids who get away with it and from educators. Because he's special needs, nobody gives him any credibility. He's the crazy one, so any time a kid punches him for no reason or a teacher ignorantly ignores the IEP and fuels a meltdown, it's somehow his fault.

When I say we need education reform, I don't mean we need longer days or that we need to introduce common core concepts. I mean we need to actually reform the system. A good start would be to approach the hypocrisy in the system. I only touched on the top 4 that came to my mind here, but there's so much more to this than this. For instance, instead of common core math, why not just teach students to count in different base systems before the onset of addition? Even better, I'd like to see a study done of what age kids absorb that information best and introduce it then. For another instance, we could squeeze most of school to half days and keep teachers full time separating the class into morning and afternoons to create smaller classrooms.

What we really need to do is listen to this guy...




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