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Thursday, November 02, 2006

Quality: My dad would be so proud.

Published by cck at 11:08 AM

I've been reading a lot about education over on the LaurinLine. It's important. It's big stuff - that education stuff.

And I was reading some comments - there was one about "pulling" kids out of private school. I have no idea really what the comment meant; I'm not using it to prove a point (sort of). What I think is that there are problems in schools whether you go to North Florida Christian or Leon High, whether you go to Christ Church or Wren or whether you go to East Clarendon or Robert E. Lee.

School is completely subjective. Money helps - money helps every situation from bad landscaping to the ability to procure quality healthcare so it's no big surprise that money in education helps. It helps because, like landscaping and medicine, your future is dependent on someone else. Money helps.

Now, I consider landscaping to be not so important and medical care to be tantamount to education, but the fact that our teachers do not receive the respect, consideration, wages or support that they need in order to teach is reason enough not to expect quality in every situation. Most of us have only spent time in schools as students; few of us have been part of the behind the scenes crew - the teachers and staff.

A school is a strange microcosm of society. Morale is important. In some schools, the GroupThink mentality is so strong it's confounding. Red Tape, regulations and school district procedures keep educators hands tied -- eliminating the very ingenuity and enthusiasm that makes teaching what it is ---> a gift.

The problem goes beyond a golden ticket voucher. Private school does not mean that administrators won't be letches or that coaches will be good or that the english teacher understands the implications of Beowulf. Public school doesn't ensure quality either. The issue isn't public or private -- it's quality. Period.

That's where the debate should be -- not where does quality exist, but how do we ensure that all of our kids - ALL OF OUR KIDS - get that quality education that provides them with the opportunity and skills to have a full life. Where's the quality?