Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"All you fools care about is money"


Owned for sending her kid in a district
she didn't live in (she was homeless).
She felt the school he was in was under-
funded.
 The Joker, as psychotic as he was, had it right when he said that, even if he was just trying to be ironic.  We seem to have slid into this hole where we think that money can solve all of our problems.  We apparently have collectively decided that government, whether it is federal, state, or local must simply appropriate more public money to all of our problems in order to solve them.

Take school levies for example.  For a while, I thought that people who voted down levies were citizens who were unwilling to sacrifice at the present for the future.  I mean, who wants a future full of morons?  I mean, I guess we’re in a present full of morons, but shitting all over the schools hardly seems like a step in the right direction.

But then I started reading about school district reactions to the levies failing, and the logic of the situation became clear.  Right now, school levies are pointless.  It doesn’t matter if they are passed, the schools suffer either way.  Why?  Well, it all has to do with how the money is spent when the levy passes and what is cut when it doesn’t pass.

What do they spend their money on when the levy passes?  Well it’s certainly not teacher salaries.  Of course, some teachers make really good money, but those are the ones that have been teaching for over twenty years.  Entry level teachers make around $35,000 a year.  That’s not too bad for a single person, but when you factor in the work that they had to put into it they are way underpaid.  Not only did they have to get a degree in whatever subject they teach (I guess I’m speaking more for 7-12th grade) but they had to get certified to actually teach.

A school that's actually underfunded.  Where is it?  Nepal.
I mean sure, they don’t work for three months out of the year, but just think of the amount of work they do during the school year.  Imagine having to grade 150 essays, tests, and homework assignments every week or two.  Then they have to plan their lessons, and make sure that they meet all the bullshit requirements of the state.  And guess what?  They have to do all this after they put in an 8 hour day of work.  And on top of that, they are expected to be high quality, knowledgeable people.  With all of this pressure they only get $35,000 a year to start?

So what the hell is the money spent on?  Well there’s a big push to make technology more integral in school.  Do we really need to do that?  “Well kids need to be prepared for this technologically advancing world.”  No they don’t.  Adults over the age of 35 need to be prepared for it; kids these days are already prepared.  In short, the money is spent on shit that does not actually help our kids become better educated.  It’s all spent on the whims of a cult of technology that’s emerging in the education system (I’ll discuss this in a separate article).

"Levy passed?  Jokes on you . . ."
And if the levies fail, what is cut?  Do they scale back and say “well maybe we don’t really need smart boards in every classroom”?  Do they stop and think “well maybe the 2005 edition of this textbook is just as good as the 2011”?  Nope.  They fire teachers.  They get rid of the people who busted their asses for 4+ years just so that they can teach their unappreciative children for a paltry salary.  Think I’m wrong?  Well, with all the technology that’s been thrown into the classrooms, how come our education system is still failing?  Are they on the cutting edge of classroom tech in KoreaJapan?

Instead of trying to make a movement to fix systemic and cultural problems that are screwing up education, lets just spend more money.  So lets continue to just spend more money on useless pieces of classroom technology and school programs that do little to enhance the education experience of our children, and lets fire more teachers.  After all, who needs a good teacher when we have smart boards!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

First of all, fuck the fact that my prior post was totaly deleted due to me fat fingering.....

2nd. i think this is the first post that im 100% with you on. Tech in classrooms is a joke, at least it was when i was in school. im a network admin and the most use i got out of a computer in school (no joke) was numbermunchers back in elementary school.

(inc rant) i wouldent shun tech just to shun it, EG i think that ebooks have a place
1 because you can carry all of your text books in 1 1lb device (save the kids backs)
2. a textbook cost me (at devry) between 80 and 120 bucks PER BOOK. kindles are 129. my TI calculator i had to buy for school was 110.....

methinks that if you could purchase your childs ebook reader, and THEY were responcible for it. there would HAVE to be a way to save cost on it.

but i digress.

35,000 is an insult to someone who sunk 4 years + into their own education for the puropse of enriching the young minds of the future.

so ya...

~Smitty

Jack Camwell said...

Oh I agree that technology can be useful, but education licensure programs all over are insisting that you somehow integrate technology into every damn lesson. They think it enhances learning somehow.

I'm sure in some way it does, but some of history's most brilliant thinkers were geniuses before the computer even existed.

I'm glad I could produce something you finally agree with =)