Wednesday, May 10, 2006

I feel betrayed by my country.

I had something brought to my attention recently and it riles me...

Subject: Hi-School - Certificate of Completion

The "Certificate of Completion or Attendance" that is being
offered in lieu of high school diplomas, is a part of Bush's "No Child Left
Behind". This is how it works:

It is for students who are unable to pass both the Language Arts
and Math portions of the 10th grade ISTEP. Students must take the same
10th grade test over in the 11th and 12th grades until they pass both
portions. If they are unable to pass the 10th grade test by the
12th grade then they have two options:

1. Drop out and go to a GED program or,
2. Accept a "Certificate of Completion" - it is NOT a diploma.
Once a student accepts it, they cannot ever get a diploma or a GED.
A certificate of completion means that a student can never (as long as they
live):

1. go to the armed services
2. go to college
3. go to trade school
4. go to journeyman's school
5. go to beauty school
6. go to culinary arts school
7. get a federal loan in their lifetime

This is the portion of NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND (2001) that Bush
slipped in during the 2004 revision of the NCLB bill. It has not been
publicized. At a high school in Indiana, in 2005, there were 87
seniors in the graduation class. Five got diplomas and 82 got
"Certificates of Completion".

This is being referred to as the "Paper Plantation". It is better for
students to drop out and get into a GED program so they may
seek other forms of education, later in life, if they desire to do
so.

A "Certificate of Completion"??????

ARE YOU #%$#@$#%$%$#@$% KIDDING ME??????????

For years...YEARS...I resisted calling myself a 'teacher'. I was a Drill Instructor, I told myself. I don't teach.

Recently, thanks to my supportive teammates and the nurturing and gentle (and sometimes less-than-gentle) guidance of my administrators, I realize that I AM a teacher.

I don't teach Math, but occasionally, I remember something from middle school that 'clicks' with a student better than the method being taught in the classroom.

I don't teach Science, but on occasion, I remember a nifty experiment that I'm able to duplicate in order to make the Science teacher's job a bit more interesting.

I don't teach Language Arts, but my passion for reading...particularly poetry and Shakespeare, I've been able to pass on to many of the students of my school. Do you have any idea how it feels to have a young man who has spent most of his middle school years trying as hard as he can to 'perpetrate a pimp', or stay 'thugged out', come to me with a LOVE POEM for his girl, and ask me to help him re-write it? And to be able to pull down my book of Sonnets from Shakespeare, going through them with him until we find one he likes?

I don't teach Social Studies, but the Military has sent me all over the world, and I've experienced every side of many cultures, good and bad. Occasionally, my "war stories" to the kids help things 'click' with them in Social Studies class.

Guess what? I teach.

Here's the problem.

For every MINUTE I spend with some young man, digging through Shakespeare, so he can find a way to tell a young lady, "What light through yonder window breaks? It is the East, and you are the Sun!"...

Some no-talent CRIMINAL with nothing more to connect to his name other than he got SHOT NINE TIMES is spending HOURS telling this same young man to objectify and abuse the same women.

For every SECOND I spend adjusting some young man's collar, teaching him how to tie a necktie, telling him how James Brown and all the Motown brothers wore suits and ties on stage...it made them look neat and dignified...the audience took them seriously because they wore a suit to work...
Some LOSER is on television encouraging him to walk around with his pants around his arse, with gang colors displayed and gaudy, tacky chains around his neck.

The school I work at has a policy..."Discipline with Dignity". My goodness, it's frustrating to try to preserve the dignity of children who HAVE NO SENSE OF DIGNITY!!!!!

And now...our President...the man I swore to serve and protect...the very representative of our Nation...

He has basically told students, "It's okay if you're dumb. It's okay if you're lazy. Or heck...maybe you have a legitimate learning disabilty, and your parents are TOO SCREWED UP TO HELP US...we'll just make you occupy space in a classroom for a few years, and then send you on your way."

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND????? ARE YOU KIDDING ME????

HOW THE HECK ARE THEY NOT LEFT BEHIND, IF WE DON'T MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR THEM TO KEEP UP?????

Do you know how many times I've sat in a conference room and had to literally bite my tongue to keep from telling a parent, "HOLY COW! I'VE DISCOVERED YOUR CHILD'S PROBLEM!!! HIS PARENTS AREN'T WORTH A CRAP!"

Calm down, boss...I love my job too much to ever do that.

PARENTS...PLEASE!!! When I went off to Afghanistan, I thought I was saving the world. When I came back from Afghanistan, I realized that there are forces in this country that are working as hard as they can to make it NOT WORTH SAVING!!! You want to know why the rest of the world hates us? TURN ON THE TV!!!!

Teach your children. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN! DISCIPLINE THEM! READ WITH THEM! PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT THEY WATCH ON TV!!! PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE THEY GO ON THE INTERNET!!! PAY ATTENTION TO THE GAMES THEY PLAY ON THEIR PLAYSTATIONS, XBOXES AND NINTENDOS!!!

Please, we TEACHERS are all alone out here sometimes!!! We can't do it without you parents!!!

2 Comments:

Anonymous needleseye said...

See, this is why I admire you. You know that parenting is an important part to raising a child. I see so many who are born and just thrown into the world (to the wolves) without an encouraging word.
Discipline creates a respect in children, for themselves and for others. Imagine!
If only more people could actually take the time to just "be" parents, you dont have to be perfect, but guidance is the only thing that will save kids from all the scarey things out there.
I could go on and on here.

Its people like yourself who know and understand these things that need to people the planet. Just sayin'!

May 11, 2006 12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool guestbook, interesting information... Keep it UP
kitchen aid dishwasher

August 12, 2006 11:36 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home