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Crumbling Schools Need New Ideas (1656 hits)


Some politicians think that if they ignore crumbling schools they will just go away. Schools are just like the bridges and roads that have fallen into disrepair around the country. They will not go away. The school districts around the country have been repairing schools for years while trying to maintain failing budgets. There are ceilings falling down, hazardous rooms that are closed to students, cracking and dull paint and broken chairs and desks. Teachers suffer too. Many teachers spend thousands of dollars out of their own personal budgets to buy resources for their classes.

The crumbling schools did not get there overnight. School districts have delayed construction to meet their annual budget. As they wait the cost of materials and labor continues to rise and we have the perfect storm. The cycle continues where a school board says let’s wait and see how we can budget construction for next year. Students are at risk physically and emotionally when they attend a school that is falling apart. Students wonder who cares about whether they show up for school. School board members should take proactive steps to get legislators and the community involved in pursuing funding and all school funding must be equitable.

Teachers also suffer when schools are falling apart. They are shuffled from room to room. They are told to make due with what they have. While other schools issue lap top computers to students. Teachers need a boost in resources to provide instruction and innovative experiences for each student . One cannot expect teacher instruction to excel if they do not have the equipment for chemistry and biology courses that they teach. Corporations need to be more involved in supplying some of these resources.

The cost involved in the continuous repair of failing heaters, water systems, bathrooms and roofs of older buildings continues to increase. In many cases it is just better to build a new school. Why not get engineering and architecture colleges around each city involved in innovative projects with the crumbling schools. This is one way to create enthusiasm and innovative solutions for the problems that plague schools. It would also create engineers and scientists who are sensitive to the needs of schools. It is easy for college students to get stuck on campus and lack an awareness of the problems that schools are facing.
It’s time to stand up for schools and teachers who want to make an impact on student’s lives.

Our country cannot compete with the rest of the world if we lack the will and commitment to change our schools. Presidents Obama must continue to fight to increase financial resources to construct new schools across the nation. The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Maybe legislators across the parties should tour schools to see their condition. CNN should do a year-long series on the crumbling schools. It’s better to prepare for the future by building innovative schools than to watch students drop out. Let’s think big and create schools that will be noticed around the globe.

Dr Stephen Jones is an outstanding educator and consultant he is the author of “Seven Secrets of How to Study, the Parent’s Ultimate Education Guide and the Ultimate Scholarship guide at www.studyskills2u.com. He can be contacted at 610-842-3843.
Posted By: Stephen Jones
Thursday, March 12th 2009 at 7:10PM
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Let’s face it: in this country we do not value public education. It frustrates me to no end to hear people who don’t give a damn insist that we “have the greatest educational system in the world, and yet…

“Among adults age 25 to 34, the U.S. is ninth among industrialized nations in the share of its population that has at least a high school degree. In the same age group, the United States ranks seventh, with Belgium, in the share of people who hold a college degree.”

It gets worse:

“They show that compared with their peers in Europe, Asia and elsewhere, 15-year-olds in the United States are below average in applying math skills to real-life tasks.”

As well:
“Despite notable progress in mathematics, the United States has failed to raise student achievement in science over the past decade while Singapore and several other Asian countries continue to score higher in both subjects, according to a study released this week that compares math and science test scores of students from dozens of countries.”

But worst of all and absolutely inexcusable:

“In a 2003 study conducted by UNICEF that took the averages from five different international education studies, the researchers ranked the United States No. 18 out of 24 nations in terms of the relative effectiveness of its educational system.”

What’s really sad is it’s not like we don’t have the resources to fix the problem. Sure, schools in wealthier communities are havens of higher learning, but that’s because of the way schools are funded. By allowing schools to be funded by local property taxes, we’ve set up a system that ensures inequality in education, and dooming many students through no fault of their own to substandard education. Then, we expect these same students, if they have the drive and determination to make it, to compete alongside kids who’ve had every advantage. Many do that as well, however how long must we put our kids through this?

What I am looking for Obama to do is bring “change” to funding for public education. If we can continue to spend 6 billion dollars a month in Iraq, long after we’ve known that this war was based on a lie, how can we sit here and justify schools in the condition described in this blog? It’s absolutely shameful.

Friday, March 13th 2009 at 11:52AM
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