Lots of news about schools this past week.
The Lines Are Drawn in Fight to Add Charter Schools according to the NY Times. The State Senate panel urged to create math/science-focused schools according to the Albany Business Journal. And our illustrious Board of Regents may drop school age to 5 according to the Rochester D&C.
All these recommendations reflect a recognition that our SCHOOLS JUST AREN'T "CUTTING IT."
All these recommendations reflect the usual NY response to a problem: THROW MORE MONEY AT IT -- and by all means DO NOT LOOK FOR THE CAUSE -- it just might require finding fault.
Well, we're not called "Fault Lines" for nothing . . . .
Here's an example of what is wrong: OOOOOooooooommmmm! YOGA !!! ...
The Utica newspaper this past Sunday had an article about the weekly yoga classes being taught at Kernan Elementary by a social worker. [Why is a social worker teaching? And what are the students' teachers (who are paid to teach) doing while the kids are in yoga?] This is nothing against Yoga -- it is very relaxing ... but why are teachers or principals allowed to take up a period a week on a non-academic subject while our graduates can't make change?
We don't need more charter schools, specialized schools or more time in school. We need the schools we already have to focus on their task.
To get to the point: Schools waste time on irrelevant material, group projects, and ineffective/inefficient teaching methods -- resulting in graduates who are functionally illiterate and too much money out of our pockets. See the latest George Will spin on this.
SCHOOLS HAVE CREATED THEIR OWN NEED for smaller classes, teacher aides/assistants, more special education, more outside tutoring, etc. Since schools seem to get REWARDED with more resources when they do bad, there is no incentive for them to do good.
In the weeks ahead I will return to this topic as illustrative news stories pop-up ...
We have a real problem on our hands that will NOT be resolved by giving more to those in charge.
Happy New Year!
Technorati Tags: Mohawk+Valley Education Utica
Update 1/15/06: RomeHater comments on John Stossel's report about education in America. (A great show in case you missed it).