Wednesday, 31 October 2012


I go to most of the many many school board meetings here in Helena (sometimes several a week!!). It can get rather depressing after awhile.The picture the board and school administration like to draw is one of massive family disfunction.Everyone has to work two jobs and they can't have dinner with their kids or afford food.Families just won't do homework with their kids or be involved in their schooling.These families don't even have a kitchen table for the kids to do their homework!! Wow. Do you see why it gets depressing? Then comes Halloween.

Remember I taught for 30 years in Helena-nine of them at Bryant our poorest school.The number of youngsters without a costume (in my class) might amount to about one. The kids had fun and their parents provided them with wigs and makeup and all kinds of wonderful costumes.We would have a parade around the school every year. The parents loved sending treats- I tried to divide treat responsibility so we wouldn't have too much but there was always the parent that sent treats even when it wasn't their turn!This is not the world picture that the liberals NEED to continue and expand their programs- they need the dismal world described above. Our assistant superintendent warned us ominously at the last planning meeting that the "world has changed"- when I tried to nail him down to exactly how it has changed I got no answer.Tonight, Halloween, I see all these youngsters in their costumes- many of them elaborate and home made, all of them with their parents in tow- and I wonder- just how much has the world changed- or how much has the story changed so that government can have the excuse to grow and grow and grow and attempt to take over families?

It occurs to me that it is not about healthy families as much as it is about HEALTHY SCHOOLS. As the election nears we see stories in the newspaper about ELEMENTARY children doing mock voting in school. Their teacher proudly asserts that he told the children what the candidates stood for and then took them to vote. Do you think he presented the Republican views fairly? I really doubt it. Should little children have to be dragged into all of this? The reason they are not of voting age is because they are not ready to UNDERSTAND all of these things. Teach patriotism FIRST and they'll vote when the time comes. These children aren't even being given the precious gift of knowing what their country and their constitution stand for, the precious gift of knowing who their forefathers were and the wonderful smart and courageous things they did to build this wonderful country. They are taught contemporary leftist values and then are told to vote- don't worry about understanding anything- just vote for us. I get it.

At eleven o'clock this morning we saw all the children from our local school going downtown to trick or treat. This is crazy. When I taught we never let the children put on their costumes until after last recess. An hour for parading and eating treats was enough. We actually TAUGHT during the rest of the day. Once the children have those costumes on the academic day is over.WHY GIVE UP ALL THIS TEACHING TIME?? I can tell you why- COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS- another way of saying public relations- getting the business community to buy in so they vote for the right school board members and support all the bonds and levies. COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS are big now- this is taking teaching time away from classrooms. A simple field trip is enrichment- a PARTNERSHIP is intrusive and demanding- this is not teacher choice or curriculum driven- this is REQUIRED by the school administration to pad their friends non- profit pockets and develop connections.

This STORY about how all the kids are starving and must have breakfast,snacks, lunch and dinner along with food sent home for the weekend breaks down at the high school level when they begin assessing fines on the students- fines they apparently can't reverse even if they are in error. One student who parked in an unmarked spot at three o'clock because he was going on the bus to Butte for an activity was fined $10.00 (the standard fine) and it couldn't be reversed- or so the secretary said countermanding the principals order.My, My, we can't afford food but we can pay a weeks worth of breakfasts or lunches made from home to the school when they deem it necessary. Are these HEALTHY SCHOOLS or agenda driven schools that make up the story as it suits them?


School has become so much about agendas and not school that our gifted and talented program has just gotten a grant for an ORCHARD!! That's right - an ORCHARD!! I asked the gifted and talented administrator to enlighten me as to who would prune the trees and harvest. Is this gifted education- working in the orchards?Our superintendent brushed me off- he didn't want to get "bogged down".

PUBLIC SCHOOLS HAVE LOST THEIR WAY AS THEY TRY TO MEET AGENDAS RATHER THAN CURRICULUM GOALS. You can talk all you want about "collaboration"-and maybe you think picking apples is a lofty academic goal. Maybe you think ALL academic goals should be social. But , the plain truth is that PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE DYING under this tutelage and need to get back to TEACHING THE STUDENTS BASIC INFORMATION AND LOVE OF COUNTRY SO THAT THEY CAN GROW UP WITH LOYALTIES AND KNOWLEDGE THAT WILL ALLOW THEM TO BECOME SUCCESSFUL PARTICIPANTS IN OUR CAPITALIST SOCIETY.

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant as always, Barbara. Thanks for applying your laser vision to all of these issues.

    A local citizen wrote our editor to 'rebut' my letter endorsing Sandy Welch for OPI. This 38-year teacher chastised me for advocating Welch because she supports economic education and she supports energy development in Montana (school funding).

    He said "we would like to teach a lot of subjects more deeply, but of course, there is never enough money."

    As usual, nothing we could say could make our points more eloquently than what our critics say.