Monday, March 16, 2015

What's Wrong with Public Schools?

I'm on a broom.  As the member of a large family of teachers, I am tired of the mindless criticism leveled at public schools, the source of which, I am pretty sure, is the mouth piece of the Right, FauxNews. 

There is at least one post floating around FaceBook purporting that the Pledge of Allegiance is no longer being said in schools.  It doesn't provide the information as to what schools aren't teaching it to children, but this fact alone is probably responsible for 9-11, ISIS, Ebola.

I worked in four public schools from 1987 to 2014 and it was always said. 

But let us step back and look at the tradition of the Pledge of Allegiance.  It's always been there, right?  It is so ubiquitous that it must have been written by one of the Founding Father's and used to swear allegiance before the troops went off to fight the British, right?  Wrong.  It was written by a socialist minister, Francis Bellamy, in 1888, paid for and marketed by James B. Upham to sell more flags.  Daniel Sharp Ford used the pledge to market not only the flags, but his magazine The Youth's Companion. Eventually Congress adopted it to the Flag Code and during the Red Scare of the 1950s added the words "under God" as a hedge against communism.

It could have been "two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame bun." I am not saying that repeating the Pledge isn't a lovely tradition meant to instill patriotism into children and adults alike--although I wish the pledge were to the country, not the flag--but is the fact that it MAY NOT be said in every American public school be what's wrong with schools?  I don't think so.

As the member of a large extended family of a dozen teachers I think that the number one problem with the learning environment of public schools are the parents of their students.  American children are by-and-large not being taught at home to respect the institution of the school, the education they are being given for free (and which plenty of children around the world are willing to risk their lives to get), and the teachers who work their butts off dealing with governmental regulations and behaviors.  The parents and coaches teach children that everyone is a winner and a perfect snowflake and when their child doesn't get the grade they think they deserve they make the teachers lives miserable.

Instead of mindlessly passing on something criticizing teachers and schools, ask questions.  Where is this happening?  Is it REALLY HAPPENING? What can I do to help schools and teachers?

The children are our future.  If we want them to continue a tradition of greatness in America let's focus on making them rational beings who can solve problems and learn all of their lives.  And yes, let us spend those approximately 17 seconds teaching them a pledge and making them take off their damn baseball caps while they do it.  Those damn caps are another blog.


Lorrene said...

I also have a pet peeve about the things people say. I'm always hearing it said that they no longer have prayer in schools. In all my school years and they go back many years I never ever heard a single prayer said in school. It just wasn't done in the ones I went to.

Jimh. said...

I am a teacher and that kind of stuff irritates the heck out of me.

As for how kids do in school, in my experience, it ties directly to parents. If your child has bad grades it's likely you haven't been keeping up with them. I'm not able to walk around behind them all night long and ask them to do their homework or practice their letters...GRRR!!!!!

Stephanie Frieze said...

I'm pretty sure that although inaudible, plenty of praying goes on before finals and standardized testing,but I've never ever, even back in the Red Scare days,heard teacher led prayer. Jimh, if parents made their children do their homework,they would get better grades.