To educate or re-educate — which is the mission of American public education, or APE?
As my experience as a teacher increased, so did my dissatisfaction with APE. I always loved the kids, but my relationship with the “educrats” deteriorated.
One of my major objections involves stewardship. While we spend more money than most nations on education, we are not competitive. Former President Barack Obama said we face another “Sputnik moment” if we do not reverse the trend. When I raise this issue with other educators, they either shrug or tell me to let the politicians worry about that.
Teachers unions and superintendents call annually for more money. The amount of money we spend on schools is right at the top compared with other nations. If we spend big bucks, don’t we have the right to expect top results?
In the second half of my career, it seemed like we spent more time as social workers than teachers. As illegal immigrants spilled into our schools, gang activity, tuberculosis and cultural awareness eclipsed things like reading, writing and arithmetic. Closing the achievement gap between races became an excuse to dumb down the curriculum. As the courts dictated new definitions of marriage, we had to deal with the fallout.
I object to APE’s political advocacy. Most teachers are Democrats. Teachers unions favor Democrats over Republican. Democratic policies are promoted as mainstream and Republican notions are ignored or ridiculed as extremist.
Nationalism and patriotism are dismissed as nativism or racism. In a country where freedom of speech is guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, students with dissenting views are mocked.
When I began to teach, educating our young to be independent thinkers seemed our mission. Now APE seems determined to mold students into narrow-minded leftists.
I was recently dismayed to find that the drug disposal at the police department does not accept needles and syringes and no one there could tell us how to dispose of them safely and securely.
My husband recently had surgery and the discharge instructions provided for oral narcotics and required multiple injections of a non-narcotic drug from pre-filled syringes each day. Thousands of patients use injectable drugs each day. Ideally, patients could dispose of the used and unused syringes at the police department, at which we could be sure that they would not be found and misused.
Selective gun ban
I believe there should be legislation to remove guns from Hollywood and Silicon Valley.