Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Cynical View of Poorly Run Schools

This blog is from Britain, but how can you tell in this snippet?

I therefore feel qualified to comment on the little flaw in this scheme: challenging schools don’t actually want bright, academically able teachers who want to make a difference.

Now, there might be a few well run schools that count as challenging, but schools that are well run soon improve. Any school that has been “challenging” for a considerable length of time will be run, or have been run, by idiots, those too stupid to either improve the school or to leave. The last thing they want is anyone with even half a brain asking questions or pointing out when something they are told makes no sense. There is an anti-academic, anti-intellectual, anti-thinking culture in these schools.

Anecdotes, anyone?


David Foster said...

"anti-academic, anti-intellectual, anti-thinking culture"...I think this is actually fairly common in the "education" field. Hence, the desire to turn all fields of study into either "social studies" mush, or "arts & crafts," or both.

Ellen K said...

My older kids went to a great middle school. The principal was a wonderful teacher, he knew even the good kids by name and I personally saw him talk two huge kids out of a fight. He had a great staff in place and moved to being the principal of G/T middle school in another town. Between the time my middle kid left and my youngest enrolled, the city of Dallas decided to build a public housing facility in the part of Dallas that was in a suburban school district. Since many of the student from this project were minority, they put a former high school assistant principal in as head. She promptly went out and filled every open slot with a person of the same minority, which would have been fine, if they had been good teachers. Instead we had one teacher who allowed human feces to be used for a sixth grade science class and when she was out for six weeks, only later through a parent working in the district did we find out the teacher had been in rehab. My son's teacher refused to implement is IEP for reading disabilities, and when I questioned this practice, I was told I was racist. Students of the same ethnicity were allowed to roam halls during class-I was a volunteer and saw it-but other students were put in the discipline room for one tardy. Gangs formed and my own son started hanging out with the skateboarders because the various ethnically based gangs would threaten him in the bathrooms. A star athlete punched my son in the mouth, in front of two teachers, requiring stitches and even when I called the police, they refused to admit the student had done it. One teacher, a holdover from when my older kids were there, literally saved my son by offering a safe place to stay during lunch so he wouldn't get beaten up. After she left, she told me that the principal had made it clear that no minority students would be punished and that in faculty meetings, the principal blamed the vandalism and gang activity on "spoiled white kids." After the former Blue Ribbon school dropped to unacceptable in testing, the principal's contract was non-renewed. Now the school has made its way back to an acceptable ranking. Gangs are no longer evident on campus and parents who had been fearful of sending kids to that school are returning. But it took SIX YEARS to turn things around with a principal who has a reputation of rebuilding schools. He is also a minority, the difference being that he has standards and accepts no excuses.

Unknown said...

How many would you like?