Sunday, March 28, 2010

Public Education

I can’t say that I’ve had a lot of experience with public education but I know enough to know that there are things I think should be done differently. Like I think public schools that are in low income areas should be given more funding than high income area schools, I think that multiple foreign languages should be taught at an early age, and finally I think that the performing arts programs should be viewed with the same importance as the athletic programs.

I know that giving more money to low income area schools is a sensitive topic but I think that it’s important that people know that in low income areas the schools really are as bad as we’ve read in AP Lang before. In Cobb County at Pebblebrook High School two of the six buildings on campus have dead rats that are decaying in the walls as I write this. Yet, because of a lack of money the school can’t afford to tear apart the buildings and renovate. Also earlier this year when a teacher at Pebblebrook was stabbed to death the school couldn’t afford to find a replacement and as a result has had to take the now deceased teacher’s classes and reschedule them into other classes. The students most likely won’t pass the course due to the amount of chaos the situation has caused and the teachers have to work twice as hard to even attempt to teach them what they need to learn. The giving of more funds to low income schools who can’t afford to fundraise would help prevent situations like that.

Another idea that I have is that all students should be taught multiple foreign languages at an early age. Mostly because every where else in the world kids have learned seven languages by the time their thirteen! I am seventeen and I still only know one. Even kids who have parents from a different culture at the most know like two or three languages over all. That’s still really pathetic compared to the seven other people in the world are learning. Also I am so sick of this supercilious American attitude already. For the love of everything ever, as people we cannot continue to demand that other people speak our language and not even attempt the same courtesy. I don’t care who you are demanding something of one person and not expecting the same of yourself is lame and it’s embarrassing. So for this nation, that is so well loved, we need to teach people other languages so that America can stop being associated with pompous jerks who think that their language, which is a combination of other languages, is better than everyone else’s! If we don’t have the decency to teach our people foreign languages then we shouldn’t expect foreign countries to teach their students English.

The most important to me of these ideas, to me, is the equal viewing of the performing arts and the athletic programs. For whatever reason it seems like the athletic programs hold more importance for schools. This year the drama program became an Award Winning program. I don’t remember football or basketball winning any awards. It’s nothing personal to the players, it’s just they don’t deserve the recognition if they can’t earn it. It’s not just this school that should give more respect to the performing arts, either, but all schools. If kids aren’t given the opportunity to try everything and find something that matters to them then they could be denied of a well lived life. The performing arts have been entertaining people for centuries and the fact that it’s still not important enough to be treated as an equal to athletics is sad and pathetic.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with Sarah that schools in low income areas are as bad as we’ve read about or seen on television. Things haven’t been exaggerated, and the students in these sorts of schools deserve to see what it’s like to have some of the resources higher income area schools have. However, I do not believe that lower income schools should be given more money than schools in higher income areas. Whenever there is inequality in a situation, there is fighting and problems. I believe that schools in low income areas should be given the same amount of money as schools in higher income areas. It’s all about the balance. The reason a lot of the schools in higher income areas have such great learning tools and cool resources is because the parents donate money to their child’s school. The people in lower income areas do not have extra money to donate, and this is the reason they do not have things such as promethean boards. I think that people who are going to donate to schools should donate to schools that really need the help, instead of just donating to their child’s school. I also agree with Sarah’s opinions about the United States and the learning of languages in public schools. I feel like a loser for only being fluent in English. I’m taking Spanish and hope to be fluent someday, but that’s going to be a few more years probably. Meanwhile, a child in a European country is being raised in four or five different languages and is fluent in all of them. The public education system needs to start teaching children other languages as soon as they start school because it is easier to learn and become fluent in a language the younger you are. I also agree with Sarah’s opinion that the performing arts programs of schools should be viewed with just as much importance as the athletic departments. It must be very frustrating to work so hard at something and accomplish so much and then not get nearly enough recognition for it.