Attention

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Sunday, November 10, 2019

What's Really Wrong With American Public Schools?

There is no good way to measure the success of a public school unless you measure what dictates the success of any public school. For example, if I worked on the line for a car manufacturer and every fifth car that came off the line had a dent in it, I would be compelled to find out what’s going on. I would not check the cars; I would check the system that is producing dents in the cars. In other words, I would stop the line and measure where and when the malfunction occurred. The malfunction in the public school does not begin with the “dent” on the students’ report card or state-mandated tests. It begins with the “dent” in the students’ home.

If you listen to the experts bellow about the reasons high-school students drop out they say it’s due to three things: poverty, low attendance, and negative peer influence. On surface, these three things are the perfect scapegoats for poor performance. However, those are only the “dents” that have occurred. Poverty has a name. Low attendance has a name. Negative peer influence even has a name. Poverty’s name is laziness. Low attendance’s name is indifference. Negative peer influence’s name is anger. The umbrella that all three of these names fall under is called fatherlessness.

While walking the halls of a local public high school, I spoke with an athlete dragging his feet to class. I exclaimed, “Move like you have somewhere to be!” He looked back grinning and said, “I’m quick! Check my stats on the football field.” I said, “Ok, so what’s your GPA?” He responded, “I don’t know that.” I told him, “Those are the stats I’m talking about! If you don’t know those stats, what you do on the field don’t mean nothin’! He turned and looked at me and I asked him the silver bullet question. "Where’s your daddy?” He looked me in my eyes with resentment and said, “I ain’t got no Pops.” I told him, “I can tell by the way you conduct yourself. You are wandering the hallway aimlessly not realizing you must be two-dimensional (great on and off the field). If you are so quick, then you should have been in class five minutes ago ready to learn.”

More

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Calling poverty laziness is laziness in itself. Failing to address socioeconomic factors that have trickled down since the 60's is a disservice to low income Americans everywhere. It's much easier to assume people are being lazy than to address the systematic racism, such as redlining, that all minorities faced. We expect them to get an education in rat infested, freezing cold schools without potable water. Blame it on the democrats if you want but a government controlled by Republicans has failed to fix the issue as well. These arguments are for you to sleep better at night and nothing more

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure about the conclusions being drawn here.

I think the fact the kids are allowed to run rampant with little repercussions is more to blame. The kids know they can get away with murder, and the teachers/faculty can't really do anything.

I think this is more about discipline in school than it is anything else. Toss out those who are detracting from those that are trying.

I think that would do the most to help.

Anonymous said...

I can answer the question with one word.


Dumbocrats!

TheRealRay said...

Duh Captain Obvious...

Anonymous said...


This is a very good article that speaks the TRUTH, but that is only because the author is black and can get away with it. They would destroy a white guy over this.

Anonymous said...

I can't see how things can improve in the schools until discipline is allowed once again.

Anonymous said...

PARENTS

Girdletree said...

9:08-Redlining is illegal and persistently punished by the Equal housing act for YEARS now! So that argument is false. Yes, I will blame this on Democrats. Schools in areas run by them are awful! 15 years ago I was lazy and poor. I got off my ass and now make well above the average income of 2 here on the shore. Yes, poverty is directly related to laziness, and being bad with money, with the exception of having an ACTUAL disability. If you still want to argue "systemic racism", you need examples. For the last 40+ years, I've never seen it. We were taught we are all equals from the time I started school, graduated college, and at every job. Look up the word systemic! You are really hitting all the CNN / AOC / Pelosi talking points this morning, aren't you?
What does it feel like to be constantly proven wrong?!

Anonymous said...


"..We expect them to get an education in rat infested, freezing cold schools without potable water.."

Those schools are typically in cities controlled by democrats for a long time.

Anonymous said...

This is why I quit teaching

Anonymous said...

FORCED BUSING That's what's WRONG !!! End it Now

Paladin said...

Dear Readers,

To chime in, many classroom teachers and administrators have been saying just this for well over 30 years, and particularly in and on the lower shore. The author of the article refers to a 'dent', and in my opinion this is accurate. I recall many times at meetings (Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, etc.) discussions about how to improve schools, and a failure of the business community to really grasp the fact that school systems are not in control of the raw materials to fashion quality students who function well and contribute to society. The 'Dent' is the lack of parenting and a passing of the buck from parents to schools and the government when they failed to provide working material. I have reviewed and continue to monitor the current Kirwan commission updates, and yes, there is much that can be improved in schools, not only with staff, but also physical plants, finance, etc. There is no doubt in my mind that there is plenty of blame to go around with all stakeholders. Further, when politicians involve themselves in matters that they have no direct knowledge or understanding of, the results can only be dismal at best. Typically, when the juggernaut of change comes from politics and parents who have failed their children, it is those on the front lines, in the classrooms and schools, that bear the brunt of the 'failure' label. I dismiss the single parent theory combined with poverty (i.e Dr. Ben Carson). A strong parent, who values education and their children to do better than they did produces positive results in their children. However, that is the issue - a strong parent/parents/guardian. While I am not saying poverty does not have an impact, the far greater impact are the social ills placed upon children by their parents. In all of our communities on the shore, there are many parents who have various addiction issues, grief and anger issues, mental health issues, and a veritable cornucopia of social morass that children are born into. Without a substantive change process to combat these ills, there is very little hope the school systems, their employees and other dedicated vocational professionals can do. Truely, there are no easy answers here beyond parents taking charge of their children and insuring a fully functional upbringing.

Regards,

Paladin

Anonymous said...

9:19 I agree, but would add...we must understand the Agenda 21/30 Common Core systems the Public Schools are using now is tragic. The UN designed this to Dumb Down our children and they have succeeded...There were many articles written and published last week regarding the fact that the U.S is now ranking 15 around the world in Education. Why are our children being INDOCTRINATED??? Because it's EASY to lead the DUMB...they now have NO Critical Thinking Skills and most don't even have Common Sense. So where does that leave us? We're in a heap of trouble regarding our future. Most of you should see this already in watching it play out on our College Campuses, Universities and on the streets. The majority of our young people can't solve math in their heads, let alone on paper. They can't write a decent paragraph, let alone an essay. They can't spell; they have no knowledge of World or American History...Geography was never taught...why??? we have the GPS system so they don't know how to read a map. I could go on; but if you would take a serious look at how our children have been short changed, dumbed down and screwed by the Public School System; maybe you would do something about it. Most of you were warned and refused to see the writing on the wall. So now you're too proud to admit it. Choices have consequences and unfortunately the choice to allow your children to remain in this miserably failing system is on you. The sad part is we the people have to suffer through these bad choices as well.

Anonymous said...

Here is why capitalism is broken. Those who are deemed credit worthy are being pushed money by central banks which they are investing rather than spending. This doesn't drive inflation or growth, instead the prices of investment assets are rising while economic growth and inflation remain bland.

Government deficits will continue to soar, meaning they'll sell the debt which will be bought by the central banks. Pensions and healthcare are being underfunded and will continue to be so if the current trend continues. So how do we bridge the wealth gap? We either cut benefits, raise taxes, or print money. Guess which one is occurring. Since capitalism relies on this "trickle down" nonsense we've all bought into, the wealth gap will continue to spread.

The rich are not spending their money on workers, wages, benefits, or taxes to improve our country and infrastructure. They are investing it in companies who are doing the same.

I look forward to the many "communist" comments aimed at this post which many of you will not even read to the end before belting it out.

Anonymous said...

Well stated Paladin. Kudos.

Anonymous said...

There is a growing element of society that has no discipline, no respect for anything or anyone, no self control, complete disregard for courtesy, decency, integrity, education or boundaries/rules. They are a growing perverse masquerade of tattoos, piercings, purple or dreaded hair, sagging pants, foul, barely recognizable English, combat boots and broomstick skirts. Or, to put it another way, two side of the same social “bottom of the barrel”coin. I believe it’s the goal of liberal educators controlling the system.

Anonymous said...

We'll be fine, calm down.

Anonymous said...

4:10...contrary to your belief; we're Not fine since we now have generations of Ignorant, Indoctrinated, Uneducated, Socialist/Communists leading the way...

Anonymous said...

The schools have failed. Not all teachers are certified. Under paid. No respect. No support. Are demanded to be babysitters. Can't correct a student without repercussions. P. S. I'm not Teacher. I am a mother. Grandmother who has lived it with my children. It is a disgrace. Just look at the young people in politics. They show their stupidity (lack of a good education). Show no respect for anyone.

Anonymous said...

Not all teachers are certified. Under paid. November 7, 2019 at 8:08 PM

If they are not certified they do not deserve top pay. BTW, Maryland teachers already make more than the national average. Anyone with a degree can become a teacher but that doesn't always mean they can teach.

Not that any of that is a solution. To learn, kids have to be willing. And no distractions like talking, dancing, fighting, etc.

I don't think there is any one solution. Kids mirror what's going on in society. Some problems have to addressed at more than one angle at the same time.

Anonymous said...

A hundred years ago, everyone got an education in “rat infested, freezing cold schools without potable water.”