What's your biggest beef with public schools?

United States
October 29, 2006 7:22am CST
Do you have a public school pet peeve? What is it? Why? What have you done about it?
5 responses
@sbeauty (5869)
• United States
31 Oct 06
My perspective on the problems with the public schools comes from a teacher's point of view. Teaching is becoming an almost impossible task if you really want to do a good job. First of all, some children have no clue what discipline is. I always resent using the learning time of the good students to constantly deal with the ones who don't want to behave. Secondly, the term "inclusion" means sticking special ed. kids into a regular classroom without any support for the teacher. Once again, so much teaching time is spent helping these special needs kids that the better students are often left to do things on their own. Thus, they don't make the progress they should be making. Lack of funds plays into the mix. For my last teaching job I purchased almost everything I used with my own funds. I received $200 a year for budget to buy everything. That didn't even cover the basics like construction paper, staples, tape, etc. I felt guilty having to ask parents to provide more and more of our supplies. But especially with primary children, you need lots of materials and different things to keep their interested and get them hyped up about learning. I've also found that administration is very weak in many schools. More and more is being dumped on the overworked teachers by administrators who don't want to be bothered by day-to-day operations within the school. And that's just the problems in a nutshell. Our public schools are in a mess. I place a lot of blame on Laura Bush. She is a former educator who is in the position to really do something about the situation in our schools, but she just hasn't done it.
• United States
31 Oct 06
I can see your point, but I would be careful how your word your thoughts about special education students. Those not in special ed are simply not "better". I am assuming you meant more academically advanced? We have a great principal who is an administrative advocate for both students and teachers. The reason I allowed both my kids to go to school this year was due to a grant she wrote and won for the school. (I'd homeschooled previously). Each second grade class has only 16 students, they are inclusion classrooms with about 4 out of 16 students expressing some significant special need. However, these are general ed classrooms and they each have a teacher aid. It's important to have a good staff behind you and I agree that with all the budget cuts that teacher's are often getting a raw deal. I think it's why more anfd more people are choosing private, christian, or homeschool options. Raising a family is hard enough without having to argue with schools about money too. Out PTO actually send an note home about opt out participation and paying a flat fee for PTO fundraisers this year instead of participating, and they made it sound mandatory! Schools have been hit hard by budget cuts. Next year, if the principal doesn't have success in keeping the student ratio for third grade, I will no doubt rethink homeschooling. I know exactly what you mean about discipline too. In order for public education to be a good environment for our children we need strong parental support and that seems lacking in this day and age as well.
1 person likes this
@sbeauty (5869)
• United States
4 Nov 06
My apologies for using an offensive term. I just didn't explain myself clearly enough. I meant students who are better at academics, not better people.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Nov 06
No problem, sbeauty. I know how easily wordsa can get misinterpreted on these forums. I've posted a few things that enflamed people and had them taking offense because they interpreted something wrong. I didn't mean to be a task master.
@loved1 (5332)
• United States
31 Oct 06
My biggest beef is that they will not let our children say "one nation, under GOD" but they will spend weeks teaching them that the earth is billions and billions of years old and we evolved from monkeys.
• United States
31 Oct 06
Actually, I was very surprised when my son's class did the pledge of allegiance in sign language, and to find that they say the pledge daily, and on a tellevision program for the shcool each morning. They way the shcool got around this is that it is "optional" for students to say god, gods, or whatever word they would like in place of god. When I was in school, it was simply a no-no.
• United States
31 Oct 06
The use of money, I feel all schools should have the same things in them. Some are so much better than others and that is not fair to the children. Thay should all have the same materials to work with.
• United States
31 Oct 06
That's why "school of choice" was developed. However, when this is utilized the parent is responsible for providing transportation. Many parents won't invest that in their students, so is it surprising that the schools don't either? It would be great if there was a more standardized formula for distriubtuion of moneys, but it's never going to be totally fair in public school budgets.
@AndreaM76 (1164)
• United States
31 Oct 06
not enough physical activity. My son gets gym class 2 times a week! They barely get time for recess . It's not the food they should change t's the ciriculum.
• United States
31 Oct 06
If you don't feel your son is getting enough physical education, perhaps you might consider doing physical activities at home. Twice a week is pretty good for public school, it's a state standard in many areas.
@Theresam (1180)
• United States
29 Oct 06
I have a special needs son and have problems getting him the services the needs without a fight and a lawyer reminding them that they legally needed to provide them.
• United States
31 Oct 06
Have you consulted with an advocate such as person from the ARC? They have been extremely helpful in being a force to reckon with that keeps the school official in line with my autistic son, without having the added expense of a lawyer.