The Culture of Our Society

“Education experts” fight over how much in-school and out-of-school factors contribute to student’s outcomes. Meanwhile, headlines in my newspaper today read, Doctors help students make the grade — with drugs.” I thought it was going to be about college students; it wasn’t.

They talked about young students, adolescents! If a student has “trouble listening to instructions and concentrating,” there’s a drug for that. Need a competitive edge, there’s a drug for that. I know I’m not the only one that sees the wrong in this.

So where do we point the finger of blame; “overcrowded classrooms,” the “frustrated parents” asking for the drugs, competition and the need for kids to “perform better”? Or will we hear the truth in what this pediatrician said,

“We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment, so we have to modify the kid.”

Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD

Why French Kids Don’t Have ADHD

We don’t have time or resources to work with these troubled kids, but, we have a drug for that. This kind of “medical reasoning” will keep some Wall Street stock numbers up. Some will enjoy that high.

This isn’t just one dramatization, it’s wide-spread and it’s real.

Long ago, teacher Sarah McIntosh Puglist described the culture of her school to me as “test-based.” Yesterday she wrote about the culture once again saying, “…now I’m afraid many look upon struggling kids as something to resent.” Have children become a bother to society?

All should be able to see that the school culture can’t help but be influenced by the culture of our society. This is assuming that people (kids and adults alike) don’t quit being people when they walk through the schoolhouse doors.

If ever there is a time to stop and think, this is it.

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.” Sitting Bull

Consider This & Share

8 thoughts on “The Culture of Our Society

  1. Pingback: Knowledge Guiding Change | The Crucial Voice of the People

  2. A great post to keep us thinking! I despair. however, thinking about the reaction of some, because as we’ve seen so often the last 10 years our words about keeping creativity and imagination alive get twisted. Teachers, parents, and students dedicated to these ideals are accused of participating in the ‘failed, broken, and outdated’ system that must be reformed ‘somehow, someway, and at minimal monetary cost.’ How is it possible that those dedicated to public ed are bludgeoned in each and every relevant political moment, no matter which party is in power?! How is it possible that K12 public ed, in particular, is a non-issue in this presidential race about our future?!
    Visit People for Public Education on Facebook to add your comments.

    • Despair – been there. And all that you say here is the reality. How is it possible? Now you make me think.

      I think it’s possible because divided we fall. Of all the “issues’ in this country, public education should be our common cause.

      The two political parties would not come together to re-make No Child Left Behind – it’s FIVE years overdue. Dysfunction, ineptitude, corruption – pick your poison.

      State politics has been no better but it’s actually proven to be cheaper to buy influence on the state levels.

      So there is local control – hampered and hog-tied by laws, inadequate and incompetent in places – spotty quality control for sure!

      Until the public sees public education as the “keystone” of our republic – thus a highly important national issue – and we have an alternative to the current greed-driven privatization agenda, we won’t see education be a serious presidential issue. THEY aren’t pushing anything new, even when they know what works!

      People must push policy. People for Public Education must rise up, have an agenda of their own, and be heard.

      Personally, I’m beyond despair and in a better place now – ready to rise!

      • We can and we must keep our kids future at the forefront of ed policy decisions! Thanks for your work, Victoria! I encourage all your readers to join People for Public Education on Facebook and keep our conversation going! We have to find a way into the ‘inner circle’ of ed policy. If Diane Ravitch and Matt Damon are still having trouble using their amazing dedication and incredible intellect to make a difference, let us add our voices as parents and every contact we can raise to push for real and meaningful change. We know that the fostering imagination and creativity will work, and so we must continually ask the powers to be, ‘What would you want for your child?’ Would you want real meaningful investment in the future if your kids’ futures were on the line?’ Our society continues to make huge investments in economic advantage and military advantage while nickel and diming our kids. The future is dim if we continue on this course.

  3. You are right again “Our society continues to make huge investments in economic advantage and military advantage while nickel and diming our kids. The future is dim if we continue on this course.”

    So when a problem is identified, we have to ask how we solve it? As the president has indicated in his education letter, they feel “investment” has been made. They just don’t understand what we in the trenches really need – and it varies! This is one place you can’t be so “specific” in federal law. That was the beauty of the old law – 1965 ESEA.

    To quote President Obama, “Supporting a strong teaching workforce and inspiring school leadership is a top priority for my Administration.” This equates to two things improved teacher education and “capacity building.” But to get there, the power relationships – control of reform – must change.

    And this is where I run into a conundrum. Part of me knows that people learn best from experience – so as an activist parent now years removed, I think – must parents go through what I have to know and understand what I now do? The other part of me says – we are talking about kids in classrooms today; they can’t wait.

    My reform journey brought me to the edge of the “inner circle” as the Internal Communications Coordinator (ad hoc secretary – Oct., 2010 to end of May, 2011) for the original Save Our School March that brought Matt Damon to the stage. You could say I’ve traveled up and down the food chain.

    Ask yourself, how many times has the president indicated his faith in people? “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

    The “inner circle” is locked into the education reform war. They have proven incapable or unwilling to find the common ground and balance necessary to end the warring. Children are collateral damage…..sorry, didn’t mean to write a book here!

    We have the solutions we seek. And we have the power to change things; we need to use it!

  4. Pingback: Inequality Was Studied | The Crucial Voice of the People

  5. Pingback: Central to Progress: Conversations | The Crucial Voice of the People

  6. Pingback: April 20th - The Crucial VoiceThe Crucial Voice

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *