Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

Aug 30, 2018 by

The school system does not need a total overhaul, as alleged by its dyed-in-the-wool, stuck-in-the-mud critics. 

But it aches for policy-makers with courage and objectivity to identify and resolve problems without taking the easy way out by scapegoating and then washing hands from the pursuit of solutions and claiming “mission accomplished” simply because a target of blame has been hit.

To show  they have vision they must be blind to distracting views of culpability: home, social and school environment, racial and ethnic privilege and disadvantage ( which undeniably exist), cultural “norms”, family challenges and solvency, attitudinal deficits, budget shortfalls,  teacher and parent competence, student irresponsibility and immaturity, dysfunctional bureaucracies, the collapse of society’s cohesion and the rest of it.
Kids who have done no wrong are sometimes handicapped by stark inequities in the school system and in life itself. Policy-makers and educators who support our kids must never let that fact resign them to the natural cruelties of nature and injustice. We must not use them as self-fulfilling prophecies to explain or even justify student failure. It should  discipline and spark our inspiration to fix and not perpetuate by passivity what ails.

All kids are equally entitled, but are sometimes treated as though they are not equally eligible, to the pursuit of personal fulfillment through quality education. With a budget that exceeds that of some sovereign nations, our Department of Education is not indigent, although there is  poverty of spirit.

It’s a new year. Let’s get the damn job done!

Ron Isaac

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