The Treasure Hunter

A blog by Joanne Yatvin

Allons Enfants de la Patrie*

on April 18, 2018

*Arise, Children of our Country

Faithful readers will recognize immediately that I wrote this piece more than a year ago.  I am re-posting it today because I didn’t want readers to think I had given up blogging or was incapacitated.  The fact is that I’ve been working on another piece for several long days, and I haven’t finished it yet.  I would guess that I will finish it byFriday and then post it.  I hope that it will be worth your time to wait and read it then


Although there is no research evidence to confirm such beliefs about American students’ laziness or the ineffectiveness of our schools, public education has operated on those assumptions continually through the actions of Congress, the Department of Education, and state legislatures. Those bodies have also used public humiliation and punishment of students, teachers, school principals, unions and—indirectly—parents to prevent any resistance from gaining ground.

Thus far, all efforts to reverse the current concept of education and create a humane and reasonable foundation for our public schools have failed. Recently, we believed that the new federal law, ESSA, would return authority to states and their communities, but that belief was crushed by the Department of Education with its rejection of any state plans aimed to serve students’ needs and interests rather than raise test scores and improve graduation rates.

From my perspective, as the mother of four children who were public school students in far better times, and also as a teacher and school principal back then; there is only one possible solution.  We must have a widespread public rebellion against the current system. Parents should refuse to have their children participate in high stakes testing and demand age-apropriate standards for all grades. Communities need to re-shape their public schools to fit the needs of their students; and state officials must fight any moves by the Federal government to punish  schools for non compliance.

We have wasted more than twenty years trying out the beliefs and programs ordered by  powerful, but know-nothing politicians.  For the sake of our children and our country we must take back public education and allow it to grow naturally through wisdom and humanity.

 

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4 responses to “Allons Enfants de la Patrie*

  1. Don Bellairs says:

    Dramatic school reform is indeed crucial, but your confidence in communities and state gov’t to achieve it, especially given that you live in Oregon, seems unrealistically optimistic.

    Like

  2. Allen Koshewa says:

    It will take a lot to “take back” public education, as it will necessitate not only the elimination of standardized testing and the current standards but also better funding for schools, better pay for teachers, more chances for children to experience learning outside of the classroom walls, school boards made of teachers rather than would-be politicians, opportunities for all children have daily music art and physical education, adequate healthcare for all, support for families in poverty, and new models of parent/teacher/student collaboration. That’s a tall order!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Doug Garnett says:

    A great repeat post, Joanne! Thanks!

    Like

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