Schools, Dropouts, Crime and Failure
Chicago, IL—This story begins and ends here for me because the Windy City is Where I went to school.
I was raised by a single mother who had little interest in being a mother. My mother was trying to make it in a world that stole her sprit and dreams with government handouts.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s women were poorly paid, subjected to unchecked sexual harassment and were barred from many jobs that were male dominated. A single woman with a child was target ripe for exploitation.
My mother quickly learned that a Catholic education was superior for three reasons; they kept children for more hours, had a longer school year and a Catholic education was superior to the public system.
I was the original home alone kid making my own meals while being babysat for by a television set. I rarely saw my mother for more than a few minutes before I’d go to school. My mother never once helped me with my homework.
There was another problem and that was catholic schools required tuition. My mother figured out how to time our evictions from various apartments with the school payment due dates. Mom figured out how to beat the Catholic schools. I’d simply transfer to another wherever we wound up, usually on Chicago’s North side.
That all ended when I was expelled from St. Michael’s High School over non-payment. Then it was off to public high school and a full-time clandestine job (I was too young by law) at a hot dog stand in Uptown. .
I went to 13 different schools not including Loop Junior College and University of Illinois.
I feel that I’m qualified to rate teachers since I’ve seen far more than most. There is a saying that’s all too relevant, “Those who can’t, teach.” I believe too often it’s really true. Teaching seems to be easier for too many than competing in the real world.
Okay, here is my beef: We all can count the teachers who inspired us on our fingers. Only ten percent of the teachers in our schools are worthy of that important job. Just showing up for work does not end a teacher’s sacred responsibilities. There is so much more required than dryly going through lesson plans.
Children’s attention spans are quite limited. The same is true of adults so a teacher has to learn how to be a performance artist, showman and an educator. Most shun this concept. Is it a lack of talent or do they simply not care? I believe it’s a combination of both failings.
If a teacher is not excited and inspired about what they’re teaching how can they possibly inspire or excite our children? That is after all their job. All educational subjects are exciting as are the prospects of wealth through education. That wealth word was never used by any of my teachers.
If there was a single failure by every one of my teachers it was their failure or refusal to teach us that academic excellence leads to wealth in this land of opportunity.
Too much emphasis is placed on cultural diversity. No effort is made to shed light on the failure of some cultures that enable, crime, dependence and poor communication skills.
America’s Teachers unions have celebrated mediocrity and Socialism. Too many teachers seem to strive for a world where everyone is equal despite a refusal or inability to learn. How the Hell can we repair this problem with that kind of mindset?
Home schooling is an answer if parents can achieve this and have sufficient talent to do that job themselves. Our public schools have been a scandal for decades. As a society we will never have an educated electorate until we repair our educational system.
Here is a cute commercial for a school that shows exactly what I have been talking about. Again, thank you, Ben Stein…