Monday, December 02, 2013

Public Schools As Rube Goldberg Machines

Laurel Sturt, a brave and caring 10-year veteran of teaching in some pretty gnarly public schools, gave an interview published in the Atlantic. Here's part of what she had to say:
How did your attitude towards teaching evolve over your ten years in the Bronx?

I went in as an idealist. I’d seen all the movies, seen all the poor kids and heroic teachers. But those movies were fake. They started out with a real story but turned it into a happy ending when there wasn’t one. It was grueling. You had to save these kids, but if one was running around the room or dancing on the tables or beating another kid up, you had to deal with it yourself. They’re unhappy kids and they’re going to look for fights to express their frustration. We need legions of psychologists in the school to get the kids the therapy they need. We need wraparound services, community services that give mothers prenatal care, home-visits, teaching parents to read to kids, health services, food. It has reached an emergency level.
Emphasis mine.

Err, you know those legions of psychologists and social workers and community organizers you say we need? We might be able to replace them with married parents.

Married parents? That's just crazy! You might as well say we just need to drop an apple out of our hands to witness gravity at work!

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