Rant on Education

Inspired by a late night chat about the failures of education … as I was doing a time-filler exercise from one of my teachers. Oh how we love irony.

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I’m not exactly sure where I’m going to go in this post, but I do know that in order to do a full OPVL on anything that I write, you should probably know a little more background about me, my educational experiences, and what has influenced me to be where I am.

As covered in a couple of older posts, I’m pretty engrossed in education these days. It hasn’t always been that way though. Even though I have always been in a family that has heavily focused on the pursuit of education, the schools that I attended didn’t constantly reflect that view point.

Through my elementary and middle school years, I attended the Farragut group of schools, located in a suburb of Knoxville. Within the Appalachia cultural region of America, one of the less prosperous areas of the US, there isn’t really that large of a regard for education. Even though I was exceptionally blessed to be attend one of the wealthier schools, as well as having certain opportunities to challenge myself, there wasn’t the same culture of education that was at Farragut than there may be here, in Bellevue. Primarily, not all the students had their long term goal to go into academia, or needed that level of education.

Cultural shock was a big part of moving to Bellevue, if not in the edge-city feel, then in the radical change in the attitude of the people around me. The air of discovery, masked beneath a faux display of contempt was enough to drive me through 8th grade and into high school, to where I stand today. I would like to believe this fabulous little lie, that because of my origins, I am able to appreciate this education better than others, even though that’s fallen through so many times, evident in my own actions. Still withstanding, however, is my passion to learn.

And from there, why don’t we start on my rant?

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Broken Chalkboards

(Why chalkboards and not the current, quintessential whiteboard? I’m not sure; I think it has something to do with this odd love affair with nostalgia. )

Our schools are broken.

Even if you see the gleaming white city upon a hill, backed by wonderful and miraculous test scores and graduation rates, you still have to admit.

Our schools are broken.

And I don’t mean just a small crack in the soft exterior, or a clean break through a noncritical component. I mean a real mess of mistakes, spiderwebbing throughout the very foundation of education as we know today.

There are so many things wrong with our school that I’m not sure where to start, but in all hopes of full disclosure, I’ll try to just “start from the beginning, and keep going until [I] reach the end.”

Divided into parts because it became too long to handle. Hopefully I’ll have all of these thoughts onto paper before I die on May 1st.

Part 1: Tests.

Part 2: Rant.

Part 3: What Next?

Part 4: Teaching

Part 5: Score Shaming

Part 6: Get Smart

Part 7: Gift. Ed.