Friday, December 23, 2011

Who's Really In Charge Here?

Last week the X-Factor winner was announced; Congratulations Melanie Amaro, you deserve it!

But I remember a news story after the first live show.  Some singers were caught lip-syncing to the group song.  The article writers blamed the singers, but who's really in charge here?  The artists don't control the show; the producers do but they are not visible so they don't get the blame.

Discussions about the problems with our public education system generally focus on two groups as the cause:  the teachers and the kids.  Why???  These are the two most visible groups when you're discussing schools.  But, who's really in charge here????

There are news reports of teachers across the country passing students that don't deserve it and the question is asked "What wrong with those awful teachers passing those kids?  Really????  Professionals, across the country, dedicated to educating children doing an action that is clearly NOT in the students best interest???  Is there some conspiracy among educators????  Or, should the question be asked "what administration policy is forcing those dedicated professional educators into such an action"?  Who's really in charge here????

Who's really in charge?  Who's really to blame?  What about the School Boards, Politicians, and Parents.  Teachers and students aren't cutting funding to schools or increasing class sizes.  Teachers and students don't close schools, force rivals gangs together into one building, then reduce security staff and restrict remaining adults authority to act!!! Teachers can assign homework, but it takes parents to monitor behavior at home and ensure that it's done.

What Would You Do?  

Scenario:  You are a teacher.  It is the fifth week of school  and you have a special education student on your class roster that has never been to your class.  You have contacted the students parent on more than one occasion and notified them that their child does not attend your class.  In an all staff meeting it is announced, "do not fail any special education students, even if they have never been to class, LEGAL WILL NOT SUPPORT YOU".  

  • "Legal" is the  School Boards legal group responsible for interpreting laws and defining policies to ensure the schools compliance with those laws.  They are also responsible for determining if the school or individuals are adhering to the applicable laws.  
  • If a student misses class the teacher is mandated to contact the parent at least once.   
What would you do?  Do you fail the student that you have never seen and risk your job; or do you pass the student and remain in a position to support the students that you can reach?

Are you thinking that this scenario is not real?  In Chicago, during the 2009 - 2010 school year a neighborhood open enrollment high school principal was fired for requiring teachers to change grades.  Also that same school year, an all special education student public  high school was closed because the principal required teachers to change grades.  In both instances those "awful principals" took the blame, because "how could they do such a thing"?  But, who's really in charge here???? 

Let's place the blame and hold accountable those that are truly in charge and demand REAL action.  Let's also stop accepting the talking points backed up by jerry rigged statistics, that don't produce authentic results.  Not just the kids but our country loses when we accept lower educational standards than other nations and fail to place the blame where it truly belongs.

1 comment:

  1. When defining issues it's important to identify who is truly the responsible party. It's easy to point fingers at the most visible, but are they in charge?