Fire teachers! Close schools! Get re-elected! Solve problems?

Posted: Monday, March 15, 2010

Wow! Did you see it? Kansas City considers closing 50 percent of public schools ... students flee to private and "charter schools." New superintendent says "95 percent of diplomas not worth paper they are printed on." A Rhode Island high school fires entire staff ..." only 7 percent of students pass minimum standards test."

Why have we decided not to consider the systemic societal problems that have our students failing minimum standards? Instead, we choose to blame the teachers as the final and fatal cause of student failure? Are we naively assuming that in these "failing schools," students are alert, perched on the edge of their seats, homework complete, sitting quietly, listening attentively and eagerly waiting for the lessons that never come?

For politicians seeking votes, it's convenient to make teachers the educational boogey man rather than look at the children of these voters and suggest that some of them might actually be part of the problem and do something about that. Until we find the courage to address this reality, the great students will continue to leave our educational palaces and to many of the wrong students will be allowed to stay. I urge school personnel, Politicos and School Board members to give schools the tools to reverse the curse of unacceptable behaviors that will continue to cause the exodus. How shall we start creating this new reality?

* Drug test for every student 6-12. Positive drug testers enroll in home school/GED. Garnish PFD to pay for rehab if needed. Those who don't do drugs won't mind, those who do might finally get the help they need.

* School uniforms (stylish and cool). They help us become one people again.

* Expulsion for failing to complete "academic responsibility." In our new school, the dog will never eat your homework.

* 8-period day. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. All will take 6, some will need 8.

* PE every day for every student K-12. How about that health plan Mr. Obama?

* Remedial and failed courses are taught only at the college campus. You pay!

* Each school has own Board of Control. Tough love required.

Certainly this list isn't final, but we will never regain the pride and joy of our communities until we start rewarding the great students and stop spending inordinate time and curriculum on those who continually disrupt their progress. Then we'll say "aren't our public schools great."

One school. One people.

Paul Zobeck,

Soldotna



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