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View Diary: The Myth of Failing Schools (216 comments)

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  •  Bad schools exist, and it's not about the teachers (5+ / 0-)

    First, I'm going to say that the vast majority of teachers I've dealt with have been truly great people.   But, unfortunately, like all professions I've also had the misfortune of meeting those I wish I hadn't as well.

    But the problems with "bad schools" is rarely about the teachers, it's mostly about the administration and what they do to a school.

    I have been part of some great accomplishments with schools and I've worked with schools I love.   I was also there for moments I wish I could just forget.

    I remember administration in a small, rural school telling a super-bright student that she was "destroying their school" and refusing to grant her a diploma as at 15 because their school "isn't designed to get people ready for university.. you should go to a JuCo and stay here.."

    I was there when we had to sue administration.. twice... for blackballing a physically disabled student.

    I've been a technical advisor and a resource to a school district that outright stole money (I mean -stole money-) from students by using their spending to line the pockets of friends and cronies and make expensive equipment "disappear" off the grounds of the school.

    You're correct that a lot of that is about parents.   But I've seen great kids go into some schools where I knew, going in, they were not getting the opportunity they deserved.  And it's not their parents fault they couldn't afford to go to a better school.

    I live right next to a school district that, if I lived there, I have the resources and my children would NEVER EVER attend (KC, MO).   And it's not about the teachers (though, their policy of allowing people without a college degree and only a HS diploma teach longterm as "substitutes" who rotate around is a bit icky), it's about what repeatedly has happened in administration.

    This week, they lost their superintendent, again.  What happened?  He was so upset with board members that he filed an Open Records Act request to get the documents on where $85M dollars disappeared from his budget and new levels of administration were hired in who were basically just cronies of board members.   He protested because the supposed construction wasn't really happening.

    What has happened is that an unacreditted school district has lost two of it's most valuable options.. because as we're seeing, greater administration through the board changed funding, altered spending, inserted fake jobs..

    There are truly bad schools.   Schools I wouldn't want my kids to go to.    But it's rarely about a bad teacher.    Unfortunately, bad teachers do exist (I will never think well of a teacher who took every effort to shame a student who had an abortion by openly referring to her as a whore in front of a classroom on a nearly daily basis).   But a bad teacher doesn't make a bad school.

    A bad administration makes a bad school.

    The problem is, people with money and resources avoid them like the plague.... for their kids.   They just use that same money and resources to get on the boards to milk bad school districts for money and to setup a situation that may help their pocketbook but outright crushes students futures.

    Having Hope and using action to give people hope are different things. Make a difference for someone.

    by Chris Reeves on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 06:39:53 AM PDT

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