A few days ago I was talking to a girlfriend about a topic that I really don’t like people arguing too much with me about. If you guessed education you are an avid follower and I love you for it! (If you would have guess civil rights you would have been there too ;-*) ANYWAY, she proceeds to tell me that I am being unrealistic to expect education in every community to be fair across the board and it’s up to parents to make sure their children are learning no matter what school they go to. I have a few problems with that argument.
ONE: Every child in this country doesn’t have a parent who actually cares about what is happening in school. As sad as that sounds, it’s our reality. They send their kids to school because it’s against the law not to and it’s somewhere they don’t have to be concerned (another blog for another day). I understand that there are not enough teachers or enough resources but at the end of the day, every tax paying citizen should expect to send their child to a government funded school and they are learning what other kids are learning anywhere else. Why do the kids in the hood or less sought out communities have less resources???? (QUESTION OF THE DAY)
TWO: Every child in this country has to take the very same SAT when they are applying for college. If Brandon lives in Watts and Stanley lives in Beverly Hills, they are on two different playing fields. Even if Brandon is getting straight As……………I can guarantee his education isn’t comparable to what Stanley is getting. Yet they are expected to compete on the same stage to get into the same schools and that is unfair. I understand that certain areas pay different taxes but there are many schools who are receiving additional money from the state. There are plenty of people out here who fund raise and do different things to get these kids more books and supplies. If we as parents can sit down and come up with different ways to make this situation better, why can Mr. Arne Duncan and his colleagues do the same?
THREE: Kids move from state to state sometimes or even from county to county and often times they are either behind or ahead of the curriculum in the school they are moving to. I’ve experienced that myself. I lived in New York as a child and I would go back and forth between there and Virginia. I was a straight A student in NY. Top of my class. Didn’t have a hard time at all with the material. Got to 7th grade in Virginia and I didn’t even have a clue with some of the things they were learning. Now why is that okay? Or even with my son. We have been in three different counties and he’s an honor student, and even in those classes he may have known more or less than what the kids were learning in schools that were only twenty minutes away. This is completely unacceptable to me on every level. We are definitely failing our children.
So instead of thinking of ways to fix the system, we start creating Charter schools and sending our children to private schools so we can avoid it and get around it. They claim to build casinos and allocate different funding so that schools are better taken care of. Somehow the school system continues to suffer. My girlfriend told me that education was only a small piece of the puzzle and in the grand scheme of things wasn’t that important. As my face stayed straight looking at her, my mind was racing. In terms of the African American community, they have all types of saying………..one sticking out to me “If you want to hide something from Black People hide it in a book.” If education wasn’t important, people with money wouldn’t ensure their children had the best or people from other countries wouldn’t send their children to our schools to receive their degrees. On a lower level, we just forget how important education really is. And as I look at her, business owner with a high school diploma, still working towards more education to make herself more marketable on the business front, it confuses me that she would say that or even think it.
I’m off my soapbox now but I will always argue that we need to have a more standardized system. One that is comparable no matter where you are or where you live unless you are a private school and therefore being funded through other means. I do not expect to pay for something that I do not get.
Until Next Time Lovies!!
Educate yourself and find whatever you need and contact the Secretary of Education here (and other places): http://www.ed.gov/