|My Alma Mater|
"Here's what I would do to begin fixing (our schools). I would have high school and junior high students attend classes all year long. I would raise teachers’ salaries and weed out all of the bad teachers. I would become an educational academy and I would change over to Charter School status, if necessary, to accomplish all of this. I would get rid of the football and basketball programs. I would have mandatory gym class every day. I would make sure that all of our students were immersed in the arts. I would make sure that all meals served were healthy and I would teach children about living a healthy lifestyle. I would have strict discipline and present a professional environment. I would insist that all parents be involved in the educational experience.
I believe that every child has a hidden potential that makes him or her special and it is up to us, as a society, to teach all children that they are precious, they are valuable. Then it is up to us to find that gift, nurture it and provide them with the educational and emotional means to lead a life that is both productive and satisfying. And, that includes a free education all of the way through college, if the desire is there. We need ongoing programs to counsel, and intervene for: the physically and mentally abused; those who abuse drug and alcohol; and, provide a support group to instill in the children a life that is sober and safe. Alcohol and drugs rob people of the desire to meet their God-given potential.
I would have classes until five PM and offer after school homework assistance. I would get rid of the school board and look to other means to set the agenda and maintain educational excellence. I would look to the successful schools for guidance. As a matter of fact, in the Newsweek article that I just read from, it mentions a “wildly successful chain of 57 charter schools called the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP)”.
Our educational system is failing and is a root cause of the decline of this country. Not only is our country in danger economically, but an uneducated citizenry puts our Democracy in grave peril. If a school could promise my children a first rate education in old dilapidated buildings, over new buildings failing to educate, which would I choose? Which would I spend my tax dollars on? It's a no-brainer. It is time we put our children first in this country. Until we do, the ideals upon which our country was founded will continue to wane and our place in history will have passed.
Now, there will be the naysayers who will spend a lot of time refuting what I have just proposed. They will spin their wheels telling us why we can’t stir up the pot and get this done. Well, I am here to say, once again, that “We can do it…..yes we can”." jkt