Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Is Fast Becoming “Rant Day”

And maybe that’s not such a bad thing. I know this blog is supposed to be about writing and language, but my opinions tend to jump out. Besides, I’d like to encourage arguing—as in debate, not fighting. I’ve written about how important effective, rational arguments are for a reason. If you’re going to say something, you should make sure there aren’t more holes in your rationale than in a sieve.

School. All of us have opinions on it, either as students, former students, or parents. There isn’t a lot of arguing about what a school should do for a student (i.e. teach them how to function as adults), so why do there seem to be so many problems with school systems? We have struggles with unions, debates over class sizes, and knock-down drag-out fights about budget. Why?

In a nutshell, it’s because reality encroaches on the idealistic version of school in our minds. We’d like small class sizes, fairly compensated and extremely competent teachers, and enough money for both of these. But the fact of the matter is that schools get a lot funding based on property taxes (at least where I live) and the wealthier communities will have more money to attract more/better educators, not to mention fund a variety of classes.

Property taxes aren’t their only source of funds, but they are enough to make a huge difference. And that is only one part of the harsh reality of education! There’s the turning away from creative classes, the focus on passing state tests, the ill-preparedness most graduates face when they apply for their first credit card.

Any others? Sadly, I don’t think it’s too difficult to come up with them.

I know this was a long post, so I hope you just scrolled to the bottom to get this important message. Contest. Go now.


  1. Don't feel bad, sometimes it's good to rant. You have to get that stuff off your chest!

  2. Hummm - I have many comments on the public school system now that I fully understand it. co-president of the PTO and CAC member, being involved and learning how it all works is dreadfully eye opening.

  3. I too enjoy an occasional rant. It's good for the soul to share those inconsequential things (and people if applicable) that bug you. Rant on I say!

  4. Oh, man, if that's a rant, you're a very, very, very nice person!!! (I knew you were, just pointing it out)

    As a teacher in Wisconsin, thanks, JE!!
    erica (and christy, since she's a teacher in WI, too)

  5. First of all, that has to be the nicest rant I've ever seen, and you know what? They're fun to read, fun to write, so rant away!

    Funny you should mention, my father and I were just discussing this yesterday, but it was mostly centered around homework and how the wee kiddies today have way too much. I do agree that it is a bit much these days, and kids need time to just be kids, but some homework isn't such a bad thing - it fosters discipline.

    Of course, my biggest beef (being as I'm a writer and a patron of the arts) is the way arts classes are always the first to get the axe when there are budget cuts to be made. In the interest of NOT leaving a big, long, rant-y comment that'll take you forEVER to read, I'll just say: It sucks and needs to change!

  6. There is so much focus on standardized tests and how well your school/district did that it overshadows a lot. I know in Illinois, the number of questions you need right to "pass" gets lower and lower and still schools fail. There are just too many things to cover as to why the American school system is failing hard. There is blame on everyone's part too, not just government or teachers or parents. Students are also at fault here.

    Your rant was really nice, like tone and all. :)


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