Where’s the ‘teach’ in teacher?



Once again the public education establishment is holding out an open hand to Ohio tax payers. This time it’s resurrected tax laws from the 1930’s, program cuts and the governor trying to strike up silly lottery partnerships.

One project announced by the Ohio Department of Education is the establishment of a new electronic data base to track every public school child in Ohio. Your local school will soon transfer your child’s grades, daily attendance, disciplinary actions and God knows what else into this system. No mention of parents having access was mentioned in the press release I saw.

This should be cause for alarm in an era where students with aspirins and Midol are expelled the same as heroin dealers by administrators hoping to be on the 11 o’clock news.

During the Bush Sr. administration the secretary of labor commissioned a panel of 30 mostly corporate executives to blueprint our nation’s educational policy for the coming century. The result, called SCANS (Secretaries Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills) would become the foundation for America 2000 and Goals 2000.

Far in the back of the assessment section is the sample cumulative resume that is to be started on your child upon entering school. It calls for school employees to subjectively score your child on their sociability, self management, self-esteem and their honesty and integrity. Extra-curricular are also tracked and recorded.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see where ODE’s new data base may fit into this. It could also explain why your public school no longer feels they can teach your child to read and write without first collecting their Social Security number.

Numerous assessment activities are employed that were unheard of a few years ago. The interviewing of children as young as 6 or 7 behind closed doors by school officials, and the removal from academic classes to participate in small group self-esteem assessments are just two activities our local elementary school are on record as describing as “very routine.” No parental consent or notification is sought for these activities, and of course no records are available for those who do find out about them.

We all need to take a look at what is being sold to us as high academic standards. Somewhere along the way, public education lost sight of their mission of teaching academics, and have ventured into the arena of social engineering.

Meanwhile our academic scores compared to other industrialized nations sink like a bowling ball in the farm pond.

This problem can only be solved by a demanding and scrutinizing public who is ultimately footing the bill. We must demand a return to true academics and respect for parental rights.

First order of business should be the complete dismantling of the Ohio Proficiency Test. Public education can and must be salvaged, but to continue pouring money into the same hands with the same disastrous agenda is equivalent to trying to put out a raging barn fire with gasoline.

Steve Badgett

Berlin Center, Ohio

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