Category Archives: education

FACTSANDFICTIONS:SCHOOL SHOOTINGS

Is there a worse crime than shooting innocent children while they are learning new skills?  I don’t think so. Why after decades of these terrible events haven’t we fixed the problem. Surely protecting children, especially in schools, should be a top priority. Focus groups, roundtable discussions, political speeches and public hand wringing over the Second Amendment by both conservatives and liberals hasn’t helped. Maybe because school shootings aren’t about guns or the Second Amendment. Instead the problem is still with us  because of the bureaucracy associated with the management of the education process in America. No new great discovery regarding guns is needed. Although background checks can stand improvement.

There are thousands of buildings in America that have tight security that limits access to authorized personnel only. We know how to secure buildings and larger sites. The problem is that school security is in the hands of teachers, school administrators, school boards and elected politicians. Collectively I wouldn’t search for security know how within this group. Rather, I would go to security professionals who are totally outside the thinking and mindsets of our educational professionals. In many schools teachers cannot or are not permitted to control their own classrooms. They do know how to educate our children. For some reason education professionals, including the powerful Teachers Union, think they should be in total control of school security.

It has always been that way and it has failed and will continue to fail to secure our schools and to protect our children. It shouldn’t matter to the teachers and school boards who controls the security of buildings and grounds, including access. They should welcome being freed from being responsible for school security. Their primary responsibility is to educate children who want to learn. (A subject for another time.) I believe the responsibility for school security should be with the local police and/or sheriff departments. They know how to secure buildings if they are not handicapped by impossible “rules of engagement” imposed by local educators and politicians. There is no doubt this approach will be expensive and inconvenient. But it will work and provide the safety and security children and teachers should have in our schools. Maybe it is time to stop talking and give the responsibility for school security to the professionals.

Blog: factsandfictions.com | Twitter: @factsfictions80

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Filed under education, guns, management theory, school shooting, second amendment

FACTS AND FICTIONS: Who is to blame for America’s failing schools?

The most recent national study shows an education system that hasn’t improved in spite of high-level government attention and vastly increased funding. The only bright spot is the performance of charter schools. There is a message there. Increased funding and government hands-on programs and the imposition of national goals do not result in improved student performance.

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Is it the teachers’ fault? I don’t think so. Teacher ranks are not filled with stupid cast-offs who just can’t do anything but teach. Anyone who has stood in front of a class knows teaching is hard work that takes constant dedication and an ability to identify with student needs each and every day. Would more pay and benefits attract better teachers? Again, I think not. American students are quite capable of excelling in any international ranking system. Let’s rule out the problems of teachers who can’t teach and students who can’t learn.

I have heard people blame the Teacher’s Union. Why is that? I don’t remember the Teacher’s Union claiming they would improve student national scores. Like all unions, their concern was and is with the members of their union. They have improved teacher pay, working conditions, and benefits. Who does the Teacher’s Union negotiate with? No one owns our educational system. Therefore, they do not have to bargain with owners as do the steel or auto worker unions with the owners of their industry.  Like all public service unions, they do not negotiate with people who have financial skin in the game. That is a problem. But it is not central to the failure of our public education system in America.

Why do charter schools have a better record of educating our children? Are the teachers better? Do charter schools have more resources, better school building, teaching materials? Better pay and benefits for teachers? Again, the answer is no!

We, the parents of the children, are the problem. We have allowed the centralization virus to run rampant in America’s educational system. The reason, I believe, charter schools have better records is because they do not have so many regulations that govern how teachers teach in our public schools. Charter school teachers have far more flexibility in designing teaching programs that motivate students to learn. Charter schools can promote teachers based on merit, not longevity. They can also fire teachers who are not meeting their local standards.

Whether on a local, county, state, or national level, we have allowed the centralization process in our public schools to grow to the point it is unmanageable. More power must be given to local school systems, especially to the teachers. Let the teachers teach.

It is my top priority to develop captivating stories that people will want to read and talk about. But I also want my stories to give readers a deeper understanding of issues that may — and possibly already have — invaded their world. There is truth within every fiction if you know where to look. All of my stories, and the characters within them, are based on actual events and people. Like I have always said since my days in the CIA, were I permitted to talk or write about real-world intelligence activities, no one would believe the tales. I resort to fiction, hoping the readers can read between the lines.
Blog: factsandfictions.com | Twitter: @factsfictions80

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Filed under centralization, education