Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rant

Just read this article on Obama's push for education spending reform.

For some reason, Blogger won't let me cut and paste a paragraph that really grabbed me (second page, starts with "Duncan has said...") but the gist is that the Administration will remain committed to providing Title I funding to needy schools but those needy school have been failing, so the current way isn't working. The Post followed up with a comment that lawmakers will simply push for formulaic changes to ensure the schools in their districts get enough funding when Title I simply doesn't cut it.

Sigh.

So what I am understanding from the article is that the Administration doesn't really like Title I funding but understands it can't simply go without. So they will baseline fund the program and then make the schools fight like dogs for scraps. Or, if for some crazy reason our representatives in Congress have the poor schools in their districts on the top of their priority list (unlikely), they might go to bat for us.

And we, the poor failing schools, are the problem.

Right.

Am I for innovation? YES. Am I for best practices and staff development? YES. Am I for providing the kids in my room with the best kindergarten education I can? YES. Our school does all that but unfortunately this year was a failing year. One of my colleagues reported something like a 40% rate of transiency among our kids. You get a new group - school-wide - almost every year. Many from another country, many with very limited skills. We work our behinds off to get these kids up to speed, yet when a small handful can't do it in the time we are given - WHAMMO - YOU FAIL.


Maybe I am bitter, maybe I am tired of Title I being grouped in with "failing schools." Maybe I am tired of "failing schools" being all grouped together. Maybe I am tired of the national conversation NEVER EVER being about the struggles my school faces. I can't imagine we are the only ones.

Maybe no one will admit that no matter how much innovation, how many great teachers, how many great administrators, you still have some kids who need more time, you have some kids who just won't excel, you still have parents that don't care, parents who don't know HOW to care, or parents that aren't home to care.

I'll step off my soap box because I'm not even sure this is making any sense anymore, I'm just irritated...

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