Unrealistic Expectations

It starts young. Some do it privately, others publically. Some do it at home. What happens there can alter the course of our life…it’s school.

In an effort to raise academic standards our federal government established the Department of Education. Many have argued that it became just one more level of bureaucracy with minimal success. 

I’m a taxpayer in a rural school district. State and federal dollars don't cover all the school costs, so I just voted to raise my taxes to help fill those deep holes. We don’t seem to argue that students deserve a good education; the question remains how.

I’m not a teacher, but I respect the ones I know. While others spend their evenings relaxing, they are often making lesson plans and grading papers. And they don’t teach to get rich.

All the new mandatory testing seems to rank higher than sparking innovation—in both teachers and students. This century’s problems require young capable minds helping discover needed answers.

I don’t have a one-size fits all solution—but perhaps that’s part of the answer. Maybe allowing each state to manage their schools—and then giving local schools more authority over their own district would be a good start.

Our country is in a fiscal crisis. Our schools are one of the victims. But our nation’s fifty-some million students have few options. It's unrealistic to expect our students to leave high school fully equipped to handle what they will face. It’s even more unrealistic to expect teachers to do all the work themselves.

A friend gently reminded me that it’s much easier to complain than to offer help.  I needed to hear that because I'm an experienced finger-pointer. Time to roll up my sleeves. Students don't have time to wait for governmental action from the top, so I'm going to do what I can to help from the bottom.

It doesn't matter whose kids you help, because we're all in this together. 

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