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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The First Month 2013

Not My Daughter

Well, for the seventh year in a row it happened.  I work with the 9th graders - my entire schedule is made up of freshmen classes - and for the seventh year at least one mother has taken her child out of my school.  Brittany, Monae, Andina, and others - this year it's Kiara's turn.  The story is the same.  The mother, a concerned parent, actually comes to the building to take care of some business, and sees what is going on, firsthand, in the building.  Kiara's mother told me that her daughter, for the first time, was dreading coming to school.  The mother came in to take a look, and was witness to the usual complement of profanity, noise and recklessness in the hallways.  She saw unprofessionalism on some teachers' parts as well.  She was shocked to hear a person in the main offices say "F this job, this effin' job - I don't care".  She looked at the person as if to say 'hello, there is a parent here' - to no effect.

What the mother failed to realize was that when people can't be fired, and are never held accountable, they will often descend into this kind of behavior.  On the academic side, everyone is now breathing heavily over the Common Core Curriculum - the state's repackaged early 1990's plan for 'reform' and 'literacy' will save the day.  School failure, so easily seen by those on the outside, is wished away by those steering the ship.  This trend of 9th grade girls being taken out by their parents continues.  The academics are in disarray, and the toxic social environment scares away the concerned families.  To add insult to injury, Kiara was in the Honors class, and still hated coming to school.

How (not) To Start A Club

Students came to me to start a club whose purpose will be to analyze mainstream media and the insulting propaganda they spew regularly. Seems like an easy task - fill out a form and let the office know that we'll meet weekly to discuss things and do some projects.

Not where I work.  I have to have a petition with the student names.  Then the form with the names, particularly the officers of the club, and the dates we'll meet has to be filled out.  This has to then be put into a School Board Resolution and approved by the board at one of the monthly meetings.  The resolution has to be aligned to the school 'goal or goals', and signed off by the superintendent.  Then monthly reports have to be filed and sent to the principal, to be forwarded to the Board and the superintendent.

I might actually be forgetting a step.  It was a long list.  The powers that be in our district wonder why there are so few clubs and extracurricular activities - perhaps they should look at the bureaucratic farce that is the 'process'.  Too bad - I was looking forward to Friday afternoon discussions with the intellectually curious students.

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