Well, since Chag sort of got the ball rolling in this direction, let me toss out another question for y’all. What’s everyone think about the state of public education? Fortunately, it’s not something I have to deal with in the immediate future as Declan is only 5 months old, but it is certainly something we will be giving a lot of thought to in the years to come.Blackboard_cutcornersjpg_1
In the spirit of full-disclosure, both the wife and I are products of Catholic private schools – she for 12 years and just high school for me. My parents both work(ed) for public schools – my father was an Assistant Headmaster (40+ years in the system) in an urban school and my mother is still a school nurse (25+ years) in another urban location. I am of the belief that teachers make all the difference in one’s education — if you have a teacher that is passionate about their subject, you will, in turn, share that passion. However, if you have that teacher that just appears weary and cynical, you probably won’t get much out of it — and that, I fear, is what we have now: jaded and cynical professionals. But, what breeds that level of contempt? Do they share some of their students’ lack of desire? “They don’t want to be here, why should I care?” I think that’s a large part of the problem. My high school teachers knew that, for the most part, we wanted to be there – hell, we took an entrance exam and paid tuition, there is some motivation evident in that. There was a sincere desire to put ourselves above the fray.
But, I don’t know. I’ve been out of high school for 20 years and haven’t really paid much attention to the state of education. I only know what I hear from my parents, but they’re reference is a school system in utter disarray tied up in politics, nepotism and cronyism – not a great model on which to base my opinions. So, I throw it out to all of you.