Saturday, June 7, 2008


There are some issues that I think should be non-partisan. To me education should be one of those, but the differences between republican and democrat are somewhat definable. I am not employed in education, though there are those in my family who are. I am a mother with a son in the school system and I get my opinions from that particular angle. Also, I can only state my life's experience in being educated and going through the system myself as a student, and not a very good one I might add.
I think that education should be funneled finacially from the federal level, but mostly at the state level. States should be in charge of their own education systems and any failures should be handled at that level. Teachers are grossly under paid in almost every state in the union. Kids are harder to handle and parents are bigger idiots than they have ever been. Teachers baby-sit these maniac texting brats for 8 hours every day. My sister who is a special-ed teacher actually has parents calling her and yelling at her for THEIR kids not doing their homework. Teachers deserve to be paid more especially when the cost of living has never been higher. Utah is suffering from a severe teacher shortage and is trying to recruit teachers out of retirement to make up the loss. Pay teachers more. Period.
President Bush has spent more money in education than any other previous President. I support No Child Left Behind, except for the fact that it provides no parental accountability. Parents should be more accountable. My sons elementary school in Arizona had a sign that said "we believe in no child left behind and we will leave no child left behind". The principal of the school was excellent and my son is 2 grades ahead in school comparatively here in Utah as the curriculum is quite behind that in Arizona. The principal's attitude made the system work and we all benefited. I do think education has come a long way and is a lot better than when I was in school.
I will state for the record on the Obama hatin' blog that I liked his philosophy on education. He wants to emphasize early childhood development and address the epidemic of drop-outs. I agree with him on this issue and he will get no Obama sucks with regard to his education policies. I think they are pretty solid.
John McCain is very similar to Obama, only goes a step further in offering school choice. The state of Arizona has school choice and the education in that state kicks butt. The democratic governor is excellent in that regard and is creating a top notch education system that promotes excellence through competition.
Both candidates to me are well defined on this issue, though I think McCain with his school choice tips me in his favor. Over all both look good in this area. Don't worry I'll be back to hatin' on Obama when we get to some other issues.
All in all I believe it is the parents job to make sure their child is succeeding. A supportive and loving family is the best formula for success in the school system. I am not the flash card mom that shoves knowledge down my kids throat 24/7. A desire to learn is natural for children and must be nurtured by parents and teachers together. Playing is part of learning and children must be allowed to be kids. The government is only a small portion of the problem. The rest is up to the family and the community. In my humble opinion. OK not so humble. WHEW. That hurt. I don't like being nice to the Obamanator. For more on this topic read Freadom Nation


Freadom said...

Brilliant post Nikki. I might just have to link to this on my own blog. Parents are the key to a good education. RIGHT on.

p.s. I almost had an MI when I read your kind words about Obama. What's come over you?

Nikki said...

LOL Freadom...I don't want to give anyone a coronary, but I must be honest...thanks for the link up! :)N

Freadom said...

Thanks for the return link. I am honored. Plus I love the new header.

Sandi said...

As the other of an elementary school teacher, I hear so many bad things about No Child Left Behind. Every child is expected to learn and retain at the same rate - regardless of outside influences like poor parenting, illness, social status, English language learner, etc. It doesn't work very well and is creating a situation where the teachers are only teaching to the test and not really giving kids an education that they may enjoy and actually retain. The concept is fine, the practice needs much refinement.

namaste said...

excellent post, nik! i agree with everything you've said here. teachers have to deal with a lot of idiotic parents. involved families produce successful kids. when i moved to florida for 5 years i was SHOCKED at how bad the schools were. i quickly got over it and supplemented my kids education with workbooks and short novels. my daughters have continued academic successes despite the public schools they attended. they are successful because of the extras i provided. the bottom line is family, as you said, nik, staying involved. education is too big to be my fight. to be honest, i know the whole system needs to be revamped. but frankly, i don't care. i take care of my two. let someone else take care of the others. i don't see how we can enforce parent responsibility. i say if idiots are begetting idiots, fug em. we need workers in mcdonalds and wendys anywayz.



Nikki said...

Hey Sandi, I have heard some of the same complaints that you mentioned and agree that perhaps some of the implementation needs to be tweeked. My experience has been very good with NCLB and when I asked the AZ principal why she liked it she said because I have decided to have a good attitude and it translate to success for everyone. thanks for the comment and I am jealous of the Tucson time take me!! :)N

Maria, we are so on the same page as this. You have left neither of your children behind and that is what you are supposed to do my friend, mission accomplished! cand't wait to hear about the wedding...I will be calling for details! :)N


No Child Left Behind can be grossly misinterpreted. NCLB means this:

Every single body in the building, regardless if it's on a ventilator, or just a torso (no joke, no kidding) will be assessed on a yearly basis for progress.

This means IEP's for most students in the school house. An IEP is an Individual Education Plan. There are speech IEP's, SpEd IEP's, and 504 IEP's. IEP's contain modifications ranging from "sitting next to the teacher" to "using braille textbooks," so that that individual child is graded based on those modifications as well as assessed with those modifications.

Hence, the testing industry is making mega millions...I MEAN MEGA MILLIONS. There are now around 6-7variations of the Texas TAKS test. They have now added the TAKS-ALT for those on ventilators or are severly or proufoundly mentally retarded. They too, have a right to be assessed for yearly progress.

The problem lies in the fact that all these children are now being mainstreamed into the classroom with their IEP's and teachers are expected to teach the extremely gifted, the regular ed, the spec.ed, the mentally and physically challenged, and the torsos. Talk about a huge task!

NCLB is all about fairness to assess progress regardless of brain, partial brain, or no brain. (this is not sarcastic or meant to be funny.)

What most of Americans do not realize is that teachers' are ranked by the progress of their students. This is not always revealed to teachers, but data is gathered, according to their students' progress and this is studied by the campus principals to determine proper grade placement, evals, etc...

Teachers have it tough. I know. I taught for 20 years.

PS. I didn't proofread this b/c it's too late at night here. Pardon the grammatical or spelling errors. Even teachers are not perfect.

Nikki said...

Chatti Patti, teachers do have it tough and I think it is time to compensate fairly...a big raise, I am for it! Like Maria said it is hard to kick the butts of parents who farm out kids and let the state raise and educate them, but my experience with NCLB has been good, that is all I can go by. I have heard many a complaint about the process and it sounds like it needs more than a good tweaking, provisions here we come. I do think those who are in education for their careers are doing fantastic jobs. Ruffle some feathers in your state that is where the problems get solved IMO...thanks for the 1st hand opinion. :)N

thedailyelephant said...

i agree with you 100% nikki, unfortunately the family situation for most kids these days is ridiculous. that is the real problem. i work with at risk kids and tutor them once a week. most of them have either one or both parents in prison, addicted to drugs, or involved in prostituation, etc. and there is no chance for these kids in school since the teachers don't have the time to work with them - if people don't step in to help their own communities, i'm really scared of what society is going to be like when the next generation grows up.

Nikki said...

Hey Brit, I think you are right there are those who by the fault of their worthless parents have some pretty dismal options. Thank goodness for people like you who don't just profess the needs of others but do something about it...our society needs that too. thanks for the comment. :)N