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by Joe Clark
…Such as, locally, in the year 2000 about 200 parents of children enrolled in a local black High School (Buchtel) marched into downtown Akron complaining that their children (who were particulary misbehavin’) were being over disciplined, and therefore suffering in their learning performance.. The city schools decided to establish a “Zero Tolerance” policy where white kids in other schools would be punished for things such as wearing a shark tooth necklace, so that it would make it seem that the white kids were just as disorderly. At the same school (Buchtel) a newer, new academic program was initiated, and it was promised that this program called “New High Schools” would finally bring children to see the light of educational enlightenment. Well, after ten years of that failed experiment, the local public schools have provided another new program entitled “New Tech High School”, which actually hires an outside private corporation to do the brunt of the teaching – all the while fighting voucher and charter schools, which cost much less than public schools, and are safer and more disciplined.
Charter and voucher schools usually do not do that well performance-wise, because their classrooms are stocked with the poorest, worse performing students, whose parents are desperately seeking an alternative to those wild, undisciplined public schools.
There is no end in sight to the many future experiments planned by effete, elitist academics which will be only designed to bluff the tax paying public into believing that unruly kids will finally be irresistibly attracted to a Magic Bullet Curriculum. One local liberal newspaper editor requested that the schools “be given a billion dollars,” so as to make school study “exciting.” I wrote back and told her that the public schools have been given billions of dollars, and that studying is sometimes drudgery and rote memorization. What, should Big Bird teach every class K through 12th grade?
Speaking of discipline, I do sympathize with the teachers who are not allowed to excercise their in loco parentis rights to seriously discipline young ne’er-do-wells. The teachers’ unions have actually requested that corporal punishment be avoided at all costs, not recognizing the deterrent effects that a smack on the butt with a board of education can produce. Aside from that, modern women, especially teachers, abhore physical punishment and according to another liberal group, “corporal punishment always encourages more violence.” However, if my rear could speak it would say, “Ouch, that Sister Rose smacked me so good I don’t want to disrupt the class again.” So, we have lib teachers (mainly women by design) who cannot teach a class to a rowdy group of kids, because these kids know that there is no physical retribution required for their errant behavior. The misbehavior is very disruptive to the majority of kids who do want to learn in a stable, quiet, well mannered classroom – like you see in every other country in the civilized world. Sister Rose could command a class of over 50 boys and girls to keep quiet and sit erect, not having to compete with goof-offs such as myself.
Teachers cannot discipline children as they did, nor can they fail failing children, because this would anger the parents who vote for the levies that pay for the teachers to babysit the children. That is the cycle of life. The money means so much to public ed that around here the schools have paid agents which actually go to the homes of truant kids, who are not attending school, to plead with them to go back to school – just to get their head counted for state funding purposes. When I was a kid, if an “agent” visited your home to find out why you were not attending school, you could be forced to go to juvy, and even sent to a special School For Juvenile Delinquents. Year after year, they have falsely claimed that they needed mo and mo money “for the kids.” To be honest, the kids have not been profiting very much at all from levy increases – certainly not as much as the teachers. Test scores bear witness to this.
The all powerful teachers unions are spending gobs of money to challenge Ohio’s Senate Bill 5 which would put their benefits package (far better than most people could every dream) off the bargaining table. Ohio teachers are donating through their omnipotent union over 6 million dollars to fight the state’s drive to fiscal austerity. Their oligarchy may be ending, as the majority of people who are unemployed (the Burea of Labor Statistics states that 16% of Americans are unemployed or underemployed) would work for a fraction of what they make. Local Akron teachers have been paid full salary to take off with sick time from their teaching jobs to rally and protest Senate Bill 5 – many miles from Akron, even as their substitutes are paid to teach in their absence at a very expensive rate. Add to this, nearly 1 million applicants were recently rejected by hamburger stand McDonald’s – when the request went out for new hires by the mega burger franchise.
I don’t think public ed teachers will be getting as much sympathy as they have been over the years, even though many of them do very admirable work. Their own union has hamstrung them by throwing out classroom discipline, and not sticking to simpler, proven educational standards that require a stricter classroom atmosphere, and the necessity of failing some kids. We just cannot afford them and their antidemocratic, socialist agendas