Sunday, April 26, 2015

Education is a Relationship and Integrity is Vital for Healthy Relationships

       Here in Nashville we have a church group which has a unique ministry to the homeless.  They help people who do not have enough income by allowing them to work in their Contributor Program.  The homeless people are trained and vetted.  When they have completed the training they are allowed to purchase papers from the organization and resell them.  Many of the articles are secular and are a venue to raise awareness of the difficulty facing homeless people.  It's a good thing.  I usually buy a paper every couple of weeks and place it on my dashboard.  I have learned many things from the homeless writers and I had become friends with my regular vendor.  She has been able to lift herself out of poverty and return to her home town.  So right now I don't have a regular vendor.

      I saw a woman at the mall with a Contributor paper cover that was new to me.  I found change to purchase from her.  She took my money, took a paper out from behind the Contributor paper which was not the Contributor and dropped it on my seat.  I requested my money back and she ignored me but I was persistent.  She told me it was the Mexican version of the Contributor.  It wasn't. She walked away across the parking lot.

      Of course, I was angry at first but then after a little while I realized that she had given me the topic I needed to talk about today, INTEGRITY.  She does not realize it but she broke a relationship.  If she had sold what she claimed to be selling she could have built a relationship and had a repeat customer.  She could have made several times the amount of money she stole from me today. Instead she sold her integrity for $2.  Really there is no amount of money that is worth a good name. Unfortunately, some corporate people in America don't understand the value of honesty and doing the right thing.

       I think one of the basic problems we are having in Education is that we as parents are attempting to manage relationships with people who have shown they have a lack of integrity.  Outside profiteers and reformers have unfairly criticised our schools and our teachers.  They claim they can do a better job. They have hired inexperienced teachers and stolen part of the wages from these women to generate higher "profits".  They have over crowded their classrooms. Of course, they have underperformed the regular public schools yet public funds continue to be paid out to ASD and others.

      A few of our politicians accept money from profiteers and make laws that favor reform.  People get ensconced in power positions in school systems and government and are insulated from accountability and oversight by the people.  They are freed to make decisions against the will of the people who are funding education through their tax dollars.  It all seems so bleak sometimes I could lose hope but I have to remember this is America.  America is unlike any other place on Earth.

       I have been heartened by the parent revolts in New York and other states.  I have watched the impact it has had on Pearson Stock.  I have heard the politicos and pundits attempt to convince parents why they should cooperate with the status quo but the parents know best for their children. And Companies are learning that a values can hurt the value of their stock.
You can't make this stuff up.

       Parents know that making 8 year-olds test until he/she cries is not okay.  They recognize that holding Ms.Teacher accountable and placing all of the pressure on one person is disingenuous.  Parents recognize they should have input into their schools and school/education policy.

       Most parents will tell you their local school is doing a good job.  Families are beginning to recognize the lack of willingness to share power in higher levels of policy and the lack of integrity that is seeping into our systems.  And they won't stand for it.

      American parents are getting involved to insure there is transparency, shared decision making, and integrity in our public schools.  Glad to see signs of life returning to American democracy through reform of the reform movement.  Whether you choose to become involved in politics, run for school board, write a blog or opt out, thank you for caring enough to help us all save our public schools.

       If you are a parent who is choosing to opt out you may be wondering what you could do with your child while they are out of school to help them enjoy learning something new.  I am including a few links to some of out newest learning toys and concepts we have played with this weekend:
There are hours of mind blowing Makey Makey projects on to watch for free also.

To test conductivity of pencil lead, fabric, conductive and non conductive play dough for squishy circuits and other things:
        This kept my kids busy for a couple of hours.  We earned that Ticonderoga pencils, which are generally our favorite, are not very conductive. Two non brand pencils turned out to be the best to draw workable circuits

If you just want to get them started with programming I recommend Scratch to begin.  Here is a guide for that:

Have a great week,

No comments:

Post a Comment