Date: Oct 3, 1998 9:10 PM
Author: Jerry P. Becker
Subject: Response to Principles - Nat'l Congress on Public Education
Response from a classroom teacher:
Thanks for your message. I agree with what the writers have to say, and
yet I find myself, after reading this, saying what difference does this
make? All sorts of congresses and national committees meet and make broad,
important statements about public education and what it should be and do
and in the end it has little effect on what really happens in the
classroom. Can you understand what I am saying?
I think of the many meetings that take place in the name of education
across the country and the money that is spent and it really makes very
little difference in the lives of the students. Perhaps the money should
be spent on things such as head start and parenting programs. I think
that's the only way that we will see improvement in the schools.
There was a recent letter to the editor in a nearby newpaper about
neighboring school district teachers striking for more money. Then it was
stated that their school test scores were lower than the ones in our school
district and that our teachers made on average of $4,000 less money a year.
And it asked why should they get more?
However, there is no mention of the population of the students they are
teaching ... no matter how good the teacher, the teacher cannot control
what goes on in the home lives of the students that she/he teaches. The
longer that I teach, and I have been at it more than 15 years, the more I
see the horrible lives that some of these students endure ... and we think
that school should be their number one priority!? Sort of ludicrous.
I have no doubt that public education will not change until parenting
changes, there is earlier intervention in the lives of children and the
priorities of the country change (education).
I hope you have a good day and thanks again for your post.
Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)