24 February, 2009

Public schools

I took a tour of an elementary school in the second highest ranked school district in our state. It was not pretty. The secretary did not know how to verify that my address was in their attendance zone. The attendance officer took me around.
The physical building was well kept after about 30 years of use.
The students were not as sharp as they were, thanks to section 8 housing.

There were so many counsellors, coaches, speech therapists, police, and others that I almost couldn't see a teacher. The ratio was about 12:1 overall in my quick estimation. When I taught, it was about 28:1 on average over 30 years.

About twenty years ago, my son offered to tutor Math. He moved to Florida after being graduated from USC. Every few years, we received calls from the school district from a parent who wanted their child tutored. Finally after several calls explaining that our son had moved, I finally made a trip personally to the school where the list originated. The person promised that his name would be taken off. Ten years later and more phone calls and contacts, we still received calls.

Two years ago, another call. I had retired and explained that our son was not available, but I would be glad to do the job.
I had recently tutored a 5th grade girl from below basic to above average on PACT. My only stipulation was that I would take no money, just like my last success.
They never called back!
My only guess was that they were not serious or playing games.

My son called this week. He searched on the web and found our school district's Math tutoring list. His name was still on it with a 2008 (updated) list!!

So much for efficiency, competence and accountability from our government public schools.

They were good while they lasted. RIP public schools.


Anonymous dave said...

Call me cynical but is there a connection between the number of names on the tutoring list and extra cash provided by the government for the schools there?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Schools have become political tools for funding and everyone plays the game. They are playing it right now in saying that schools should close for public outcry even when it may or may not be unhealthy for the kids (the swine flu scare). Now, I want our kids to be healthy and safe, but I don't like scare tactics. The vaccine is old and has to be used while it does not address all of the new flu's problems.
And, the schools do not want to close for they want to get that daily dollar even if a kid gets sick. Has nothing to do with good grades or attendance in learning.
Teachers have to go by policy that is political and unionized. And, that makes for incompetence along with gov't control and taxation.
Pretty sad state of affairs.


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