Archive for April, 2014

Education Reform

Posted: April 26, 2014 in Education Reformation

This poem says it all.

Education Reform, The Poem

Used as a shield by some and others a sword

Wielding it at will toward targets galore.

Teachers, unions, schools, and more.

You have militants firing teachers,

Politicians being preachers

About the features of the leechers–stealing money

That’ll meet your students’ needs

(Long as there’s no disabilities)

Using inequalities to show supremacy

With stats that can only be perceived

As fictionality.

How is one to see (or better yet believe)

That to hold a lottery

Is the way for things to be?

And they’re waiting for that hero,

Gonna rescue all the children

By taping our mouths shut

To gain their (her) control.

Funny how it grows

How it goes, taping the mouths closed.

Started off with children

Then she rose and rose and rose

So she’s trying it with those who oppose.

And then there are the

Gates slamming closed, slamming closed.

Oops! There a finger goes, or even worse a nose.

Simply doesn’t matter when the

Gates are growing fatter

Saying size it doesn’t matter

Let ‘em grow, let ‘em grow

Until the classes aren’t just full,

They’re unbelievable

With the masses we’ve enrolled

Sitting ten to twenty-fold.

Doesn’t it get old

Watching all the money roll

From sea to shining sea

Gaining publicity

From Hollywood TV,

Print complicities,

Hinting demonocracy

For those like you and me?

Where does it all stop

So our children get the best instead of tests?

It’s like the wild west with guns a’ blaring

Scaring people staring

At the stats that seem so glaring

Especially comparing

Us to them

And them to us–

Number one’s so far away

But what those stats don’t say,

You and I can say

If we ever get a say

Instead of pushed out of the way.

So the wheels of reform can churn

As we watch the system burn

So quickly to the ground.

Happen? Yes, it’s bound

Unless something quick is done

Time to shine some sun

On that evil word reform

Make it be reborn

With thoughts that we have torn

From our minds

And then adorn

The reformers who reform

With common sense and more.

Because public education needs us

To step up,

Make a fuss–

Who else do you trust?

Isn’t this a must?

Don’t you feel the need

To do this righteous deed?

Stand up

One and all.

Don’t let this nation fall.

It’s the only one we have

The only one we need.

Need to keep united

Stop from becoming so divided.

Starting with our children is the key to moving on.

Forward, never back.

Reform to change,

Not attack.

My first sign is when
I notice the way I walk
In zigzags
Not straight
Then the pounding starts
In my head
No pain at first
But it is soon to come
My heartbeat races
Though I am sitting still
My throat becomes dry
I drink in big hungry gulps
It does nothing to stop
What is happening to me
My breath comes
But it is short
Jagged
And unfulfilling to my lungs
My head is too heavy to hold up
But the inside is light
Like there is nothing in it
My hands start to tingle
I cannot feel them
I cannot breathe
I cannot think
Then I am crying and unable to stop
The confused and misunderstood tears
Rolling down my cheeks
I am not certain where I am
Maybe in a dream
Because none of this is real
I stop caring about the tears
Because I realize
No one can see me
No one can hear me
I try to remember
How to breathe
And what it feels like
To know without a doubt
That someone cares
I hear voices all around me
I hear the words
But the meaning of them
Is lost on me
I do not understand
What is being said
Or who is saying what
Then I hear a word
That I still know the meaning of
At least I think I do
It is my name
More words after that
More voices
I stumble away without responding
And I fall into the arms of two people
Whose words make perfect sense

Anxiety Attack, by user Shapeshifter56 on teenink.com

Anxiety attacks aren’t just about being anxious, or nervous. Anxiety attacks are something that is extremely prevalent in many people’s lives. They can begin due to stress; any range of mental issue, heredity, substances (And the withdrawals that come with them) are all causes. They can last anywhere from 5-10 minutes, to upwards of a couple of hours. They’re paralyzing, they’re scary for both the person experiencing it and people observing. They’re something we need to be trying to avoid, and school isn’t helping.

School is a cause of anxiety attacks for the majority of teens. Between homework, relationships (Both intimate and friendly), parents, teachers, any amount of things, anxiety attacks occur more often than ever before. Homework and the idea of succeeding is something that every kid in recent years is trying too hard to achieve for the sole purpose of not wanting to get an F. The problem in that isn’t that the child wants to succeed – That’s awesome they want to be good and do well. The problem is that in order to succeed, the student isn’t allowed any humanity. Especially now that we can get jobs to get money, we have no time for ourselves. We go from school, to sports, to work, to homework, and then go right to bed. And this, after at least a couple weeks, will wear a kid down to the point where he breaks.

My, and Finland’s (http://www.nea.org/home/40991.htm), idea of not having as much homework would erase a lot of the stress that comes with school. Not as much homework means less homework-based grades, which means overall better grades, which means happier parents and teachers. Most of all, though? The student is happy. They have more time to themselves, to be a kid. We shouldn’t be pushing kids of any age through this kind of pain and suffering. It’s not alright. We need to fix it.

 

Talk by Tyler DeWitt, filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet

 

After having some conversations and looking at some websites, I’ve made a few conclusions, as well as have some opinions from other people. In class we talked about our topics. One student was looking at how the human mind responds to music and how we could use that to influence our lives for the better. Did you know that in the Cold War, both sides (U.S. and Soviets) had figured out a specific frequency that could brainwash and control someone’s mind? Like hypnotising somebody’s body to a sound. IT’S CRAZY.

Now, when I brought up my topic, a lot of people agreed that our school system in America was really bad. Most everybody I talked to said that the way school is, they’re not really learning anything and that it felt like being “manufactured” so to speak. I eventually spoke up about how Finland runs school, and they all loved that. There’s not as much homework, and school is available to everybody. I’m not talking about racist separation, or sexist separation… I mean economic separation.

 

Image

In an article by Lee Price of the EPI Research group, it’s stated that more of the white population, even with a criminal record, will have a better time getting a job than completely clean black people. This directly relates to how much money people make, and thus the kind of living and education a child receives. This kind of economic restriction that exists is pathetic, and it just doesn’t happen in Finland. Something that I found interesting is that there are no private schools in Finland.

User Tstev of TheAtlantic.com pointed out that by having public and private schools, some of the better, more efficient, and most of all more effective teachers work at private schools, even if just a few years. This leaves the public schools to maybe not have as good of teachers. Public schools also receive more spread out funding meaning old textbooks and equipment, class sizes are enormous, and it just doesn’t work. I understand there is a sort of bragging rights and exclusivity feel to working at a private school, and this is enough to make some teachers be willing to work with a lower salary. I always thought private school teachers made more, but as a fellow student Louis pointed out, and as The Atlantic confirmed, private teachers make less money than public schools’ teachers.

This is very relevant  to the book I’m reading, because Junior is a poor Native American teen. He normally goes to school on the reservation (The Rez, as they call it) but eventually moves to a school filled predominantly with white students. This happens after Junior gets in trouble with administration for breaking a teacher’s nose. “I wasn’t aiming for anything really. Well, I was planning on hitting something, you know? …… Something dead, you know, not alive” (pg 34). He decides to transfer to Reardan to give himself and his family some hope. Reardan is a public school, but it’s the same idea. Reardan is expensive, it’s 98% white people, everyone is smart and/or athletic. It’s very, very, high up on the food chain, and the school in The Rez is very, very low.

This is the kind of thing I want to eradicate. There should be one school per town, and it would be equal in all respects. Equal admission. Equal funding. Equality for the students, racial and sexual. I’m a firm believer in many things, and equality is number two in my list. It would by no means be the exact same, that’s the second thing I want to get rid of. But it should be equal. 3/3 and 12/12 are both 1, but they’re still both different things.

I want equal education, but without it being the exact same for everybody.

 

The book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian fits my idea of making your own way of doing things in order for you to succeed. For this Capstone “Project” I want to figure out if process Public Schools use is not only efficient, but effective. This book gives a perspective of a kid that school /doesn’t/ work with. He has some things wrong up in the head, and not just mentally. He’s a pretty funky kid, but he still finds his own way to get by in his little world. I think we could pull some ideas he had with school, as well as use ideas from other countries’ school systems, and make our own better. Because I think we need to make our schools work for everybody, big or small, yellow, green, or blue. At the moment it’s all just a big assembly line of sorts, and that’s not going to be effective for much longer. Kids need change. We need to learn, not just be taught. School needs to benefit everyone. Everyone.

 

Including Junior, from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.