Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Lottery

By Will Deyamport, III, MSEd

This posting is actually my response to a courseroom discussion about the film The Lottery in my Leadership and Management Change II course - minus the video at the end.

Teacher's unions are not the problem. They are not opposing open access; they are opposing the closing of neighborhood schools and the displacement of those students. Teacher's unions serve a very meaningful and much needed purpose.

Charters have a 50% failure rate. They are not the panacea their supporters make them out to be. But, whenever you pick up the paper or see an education special on TV or hear a politician speak, you see people praising charters and the amazing work they are doing.

Mississippi does not have a teacher's union, nor does it have tenure either. Yet, just like around the country, MS has a 40% drop out rate and the best performing schools are in the districts that serve the wealthiest students. The problem is not the teacher's union, it is poverty and the social ills that are the result of poverty.

The Lottery points out the absurdity of the leadership at the state, district, and school level. Klein was never an educator. Arne Duncan was never an educator. And their answer is to always close schools, instead of looking at the school leadership, the learning programs in place, as well as the student and parent participation.

The truth is there are millions of students who do not care about school. There are millions of parents who do not care about their child's education. We do not hear about those students. We rarely hear about those parents. All we hear is that all students and their parents want to learn. If you have spent anytime in a school you know that is not true.

The public school system needs to remove money from the game. No child's address should determine where they go to school. That is why I support theme schools. They are the great equalizer in public education. Students go to school based upon their interests, passions, and talents - not the neighborhood they live in.

Check out this video on school choice:

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