Last night I had the opportunity to provide translation services for a “Back to School” night.
There have been so many budget cuts during this era of austerity that many of the basic necessities required by our educators, to do their jobs, are basically nonexistent. Last night’s school was unable to provide translation services and so I stepped in to volunteer.
Having traveled to schools throughout the world I can say, with certainty, that our educational structure here in the U.S. is crumbling. The disparity between schools within the same district, only miles apart, is horrendous to any objective observer. Schools may be only a mile from one another and yet function as differently as if they were in separate countries. It is disheartening to know that little has changed since Kozol’s first edition of “Savage Inequalities.”
Last night, while translating I began thinking about my experiences in schools in Poland, France, Colombia and West Africa. Touring schools in those countries has given me a perspective that I wish more educators possessed. Having had those experiences, sometimes I fear that our educational system is in opposition to serving our youth rather than building them up.
We catalog more academic theories than any other nation on earth, yet we permit disassociated testing and partisan economics to dictate our directions. Why does our academic system act in opposition of the well being of its students? Why do parents and community leaders permit the dominance of a system practicing mediocrity?
As I think about this situation I’m recalling a proverb I once heard in Thioroye Senegal that says, “The Ruin of a Nation begins in the home of its people.”
Thanks for allowing me this little rant.
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