Tuesday, April 11, 2006

It's Time to Take Action

I'm a teacher. Obviously, education is important to me. I come from a family that is not lacking in teachers, coaches, or principals. The future of this country is important to me. I teach in a school where many of my students are illegal or their parents are illegal. I've been monitoring the protest closely. I love these kids and I feel for them, but I'm also a US citizen and can see the damage of having these illegal immigrants here. My brother, Blake, had a blog entry that opened my eyes a little more. Check it out here.

But the thing is, no matter who is in our country, our education system is crumbling. It will soon be an avalanche if it isn't already. Tuesday, on Oprah, Bill and Melinda Gates were showing what the schools have come to. You can check out the contents of the Oprah show here.

Did you know that 1 out of 3 freshmen will not graduate? That might shock you; it doesn't shock me. I teach in a district that has 5 middle schools. My school once had the students that the high school teachers do not want to get. My students have a higher rate of dropping out than those from the other middle schools.

According to schoolmatters.com, my school is labeled as a "fringe off a large urban city school." Yes, my school can be rough. It is definitely rougher than the other middle schools in the district. Is it rougher than the Dallas school my dad teaches at? Maybe, but probably not. We have outstanding adult leaders in my school that give more structure to the students. It may even shock you that my students wear uniforms. That is one of the best things for these students.

But the thing is, even if these kids graduate, their education is still on a low level. They do not have the skills to do much. Whose fault is this? As a teacher, I'm doing the best that I can and my students still are below everyone else in the district. The administrators are excellent. So, it the student? I honestly don't think so. I do feel that family/home life plays a major role.

Bill gates says that we are teaching American students curriculum for them to survive the 1950's, not curriculum to survive the year 2006. You can see his website here. In Texas, I'm not sure if that statement is true. I do see a need for our kids to get into technology more than they are.

So how do we fix this problem? If we're worried about illegal immigrants taking so much money from hospitals and the like, how much more will we fret over all the jobless dropouts that will do the same thing in ten years?

My "solution" is to fix families first. But really, I don't see much change occurring. I think America is about to fade from the limelight. I've often cried over the thought of the life my future kids will live. This just confirms my suspicions of how bad things really are.


Tim Perkins said...

I agree with everything you've said. The haunting part is your comment on your future children.

Also, I would encourage readers to check out this take on the immigration issue: http://www.informz.net/pfm/archives/archive_254368.html

Brooke said...
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