Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Back to school boondoggle

Many parents are celebrating "back to school" this week. They are celebrating the fact that our kids are going to government schools to be taught values that frequently conflict with the values taught at home.

They are celebrating even though our kids are used a political pawns to get more money for the unions. They celebrate despite the fact that the curriculum is consistently dumbed down and "self-esteem" has become more important than being successful.

Where did things go wrong? Right here:

CHRONOLOGY OF KEY STATEWIDE INITIATIVES IMPACTING CULTURAL COMPETENCY

1980s: Underrepresented minority scholarship programs implemented by Board of Higher Education: Portland Teacher Program, Underrepresented Minority Undergraduate Program.

1998: Joint Boards of Education (Board of Education/Board of Higher Education) consider diversity in the educator workforce, recommending this as an important common issue for multiple boards/groups to address and proposing the development of an "Action Plan for Diversity in the Educator Workforce."

2000: Board of Higher Education expands its definition of diversity to move beyond definitions categorizing underrepresented people by race/ethnicity.

2004: Oregon Mexico Education Partnership (OMEP) agreement to bring Spanish language content materials to Oregon students while they continue to learn English. Also includes adult education opportunities for parents of migrant students.

2005: New standards for administrative licensure (currently before Teacher Standards and Practices Commission; proposed for January 2006) include knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to equity and cultural competence in leadership, instructional improvement, effective management, inclusive practice, ethical leadership, and socio-political context.

If you look at the list (not just the examples provided here) you see that during the 70's and 80's there wasn't much going on, we saw and increase in the 90's and things have just taken off in 2003 and 2004.

Thirty years from now I would like to see a list that shows the school choice battles we have won. We can list charter schools, support for homeschooling, NCLB, choice between government schools, and finally we would end up with public education that let's parents decide whether to send their child to a government school, parochial school, or anything in between.

7 comments:

Diesel said...

Daniel: NCLB, still in its infancy, is not yet a winner.

activist kaza said...

Dan, my man, interesting list. I think I get it now...anything do with racial diversity, different cultures, tolerance etc. is something you think to be a waste of taxpayer dollars and contrary to your values.

Thank God my mother had different values than you.

FYI, I was voluntarily part of a school busing program between Beaverton and Portland schools way back in 1969...you missed that on your timeline!

That single experience was probably the greatest education I got in my entire 12 yrs. in Oregon public schools. It positioned me for being able to understand prejudice, racial discrimination and cultural myopic behavior in human beings.

Later on in my business career, as I travelled to 50 different countries and dealt with people and culture diametrically different from my own, those lessons sure came in handy!

So - I guess this is the division between those of us who believe in reinvigorating public education for all versus those who want to pull their kidz out and cloister them away with your own "values".

We want to interact with the world. At best, you want to ignore it...at worst, destroy it or convert it to your way of thinking (Christian, capitalist, Democratic!).

I'm glad God gave me my Mom!

Thomas said...

Activist Kaza wrote:
"Dan, my man, interesting list. I think I get it now...anything do with racial diversity, different cultures, tolerance etc. is something you think to be a waste of taxpayer dollars and contrary to your values"
....
well, I guess he told YOU! Imagine, wanting to hold on to the values that make this country different from every other one, that makes people from other countries want to come here and become Americans!
I'm not saying that being aware of other cultures is a bad thing, it's just when people start with the "all cultures are equal/the same..." This is America, a country that has set itself apart from other countries, a great experiment that has been working and evolving very well for 214 years, thank you.
Racial diversity? Yep there sure are diverse races here. It's called a "Melting Pot" or didn't Mr. Kaza learn that in Public School? I sure did. It's a melting pot, not a salad.
How dare you, Daniel, have values (Christianity, capitalistic, blah,blah, blah...) and want to pass them on to your children, and grandchildren!? You evil man, you!
(Insert sarc tag)
Tolerance used to mean putting up with the differences in others views, be they religious,or social or what have you. Tolerance nowadays means one must not only put up with them, but must also accept and embrace them because, hey, how dare you judge me? All values are equal, right? So, when I steal your T.V. don't judge me, that's how things are done in "my culture".
Sorry for the rant, but Activist Kaza's superiour attitude just rubbed me the wrong way.

MAX Redline said...

Kaza,

You really would do well to read more before opening your yap.

Because school isn't about "embracing" or "celebrating" "diversity". It's about teaching kids how to compete well when they assume their place in society. And that starts with ensuring that they can read, write, and compute effectively and cogently.

Teaching them how to use a condom isn't the job of the schools.

Providing services to illegal aliens isn't the job of schools.

"Celebrating" homosexual lifestyles isn't the job of the schools.

FYI, if you were voluntarily part of a school busing program, that means you had a choice. And that's something that is unavailable to kids in public school today. By your own words, it appears that you had an option.

Did they teach you how to use a condom?

Did they teach you that oral sex isn't really sex?

Did they teach you that it is not only okay, but really kinda cool to be homosexual?

Did they teach you that illegal aliens are really just "undocumented immigrants"?

Or did you just go to school with a bunch of other American kids - some black, some white, some skinny, some fat, some from wealthy families, some from poor families?

That's where I went to school in the 1960's. I kind of suspect it's what you did, too. Probably the greatest difference between my background and yours is that I did not turn into a smug, self-righteous, oh-so-liberal eunich who bows automatically to whatever "politically correct" sewage happens to waft in on the breeze.

Daniel said...

Responding in order:

Don, I actually don't like many components of NCLB. It focuses on race and I think that we should be color blind. It's not No Black Child Left Behind or No White Child Left Behind. We should have the same standard for everyone. I do like the school choice component.

Kaza, I have missed hearing your misguided comments. I'm glad that you had a good experience with other cultures in other countries. Did you see any clitorectimies? Arranged marriages? Legal prostitution? Slaves? Great cultures!

And yes, I do want my kids in an environment where they teach and share my values. So do you. Are you going to send your kids to a private Christian school? How about Bob Jones University? I think not. They don't share your values.

And guess what Mr. Kaza, not all countries/cultures are equal. I consider America superior. (and so does about half the population of Mexico apparently)

I do want to get people to be saved by Christ because I want them to go to heaven, become capitalists because that is the best economic system known to man, and democratic because people should have some say in how they are governed.

In this I am not different than you, except you want to convert us to liberalism.

Thomas, no apology neccessary. You are right on!

And Jay, wait a minute, are you trying to say that school is about learning so that you can get a job and be successful in life? It's not about affecting social change? What's next, are you going to say that kids should be learning how to read instead of how much America sucks? You crazy conservative!

Gunslinger said...

I have a friend who went to an expensive private school and does well for himself. When arguing about education, he says; "You get what you pay for- a good job."

Anyone who would subject their kids off to the unknown and expect that the "system" has their best interest in minds need to pull their head out. Another friend of mine tried to graduate our high school a year early. The response from the school was; "We are not in the business of just giving out diplomas. If we let you leave early, we lose money."

Nice

Kaza, I pray for you.

activist kaza said...

For guys who know you are so right, you're getting awfully defensive, aren't you?

Please just send your kidz to private schools or else get involved with your local PTA, school board etc. to change what you've got. But please don't bitch and moan and expect the rest of us to give you a govt. handout (vouchers) so you can bail out with subsidy in hand.

For further info, I happen to have six kids, 4 of whom have been educated here in Oregon's public schools (and universities). They're doing just fine. Last time I checked, nobody was pregnant (or gotten anybody else pregnant), raped, killed or even stole from somebody else. They're productive young people with good brains.

Despite your fears of public school brainwashing, they learned values where they should...at church and at home!

PS thanks for the prayers