GRANDSONS ON THE MIDWAY IN SAN DIEGO BAY
One of my daughters teaches 7th and 8th grade science classes at an inner-city middle school. Approximately 75% of the student body is of hispanic origin, and most are not proficient in the english language. The total school population is about 1,800 students.
Admittedly many of my concerns have been stirred by Susie's comments after school. In my eyes she has chosen to teach a difficult age group at a difficult school. . . . but SHE thinks her little gang-bangers are the neatest kids anywhere. Language is a major impediment but Susie tells me that the most significant obstacle in her attempt to teach these kids science, is THE GENERAL LACK OF PARENTAL SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT.
Most Mexican young people do not finish high school. They are removed from school to work and earn money to contribute to their family. It matters not whether they are legal or illegal, it is the way their parents were brought up, etc. In their wildest dreams these parents can hardly believe their child can achieve a high school diploma, much less go on to college. They just can't. So they would rather the kid drop out and go to work.
I think it is clear that the school my daughter teaches at is not typical across the state. It is in a disadvantaged area with a very high hispanic population. Perhaps the teaching experience is quite different elsewhere, but from what I am finding as I look into "why high schools graduate dummies". . . . . our public schools both here and there are not getting the job done.
(1) I do listen to Fox news daily, also CNN, and the Evening News on NBC. There is no question that Fox presents conservative opinion programs, and their "fair and balanced" news also tilts to the right. I think CNN and NBC provide a reasonable counterweight.
(2) My friend Rain says she will: "do all she can to keep our public system working as anything else is the road to ignorance and religious bigotry." I don't agree. The system is NOW on the road to ignorance (continuing to produce less than competitive students), and religious bigotry is a fact of life that reality faces constantly, and wins.
(3) I have been using several sources as I look into the obvious decline in public school education. National High School Center (NHSC) The Nation's Report Card (NAEP) Drop Out Rate Bulletin (MSNBC) Sacramento Bee (www.sacbee.com/108/story)