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This Charlie Baker “Yes on Question 2” commercial is really grinding my gears this morning:
“Imagine if your kids were trapped in a failing public school.”
If I hear the phrase “failing public school” one more time my head is going to explode. Let’s just be very clear about this – there is no such thing as a “failing” public school. Students fail, not the schools they attend. When a kid doesn’t pass a class it’s not because their teacher is a deadbeat who isn’t doing their job. Kids are not failing because they come in every day well-rested, well-fed, and eager to start learning, but their greedy unionized teachers won’t do their jobs and impart knowledge onto them. This is just a lie that’s been perpetuated by anti-union assholes like Charlie Baker so they can throw red meat at their anti-union base. Keep in mind, Charlie Baker served as the head of the board of directors at the Pioneer Institute – a privately owned pro-charter group.
There’s a million and one reason kids fail in school:
- they come from shitty homes
- they don’t get enough sleep
- they’re hungry and Mom traded in the food stamps for heroin
- they work jobs to support their families and aren’t studying and doing homework
- they come from homes where Mom and/or Dad don’t speak English
- they don’t have a single book in their homes
- they’ve grown up watching the Kardashians instead of Sesame Street
- they have crazy amounts of absences because getting to school is not a priority
- they don’t see education as an outlet
- they join gangs
- graduating from high school is not a priority
- they are socially promoted and every year they start off further behind
- they have undiagnosed learning disabilities
- they don’t get in trouble for failing
- parents don’t communicate with teachers or come to parent-teach conferences
And that’s just a start. Not one of those factors has ANYTHING to do with the school they go to or the teachers who are magically supposed to overcome all these societal hurdles. So every time you hear some asshat like Charlie Baker give this “failing public school” rhetoric bullshit, just understand that he’s lying for political gain.
Oh yea, and then there’s the fact that Charlie Baker is the head of the state. If the schools are “failing” then fix them. Creating more charter schools is nothing more than big government. You’re not fixing the problems in the public schools. You’re making them worse. Plus, you’re spending money that you weren’t previously. Since when did bigger government become part of the Republican ideology?
My question for Charlie Baker is, what the hell does he know about public schools? He graduated from Needham High School, an affluent school that couldn’t be further removed from the day to day realities of urban public schools. How many times has he actually sat in on a classroom in Worcester or Lawrence or Dorchester? Has he ever actually spoken to a public school teacher about what they need to help their kids succeed?
Nope. His answer is to take money away from their schools so they can create these magical schools that don’t “fail.” Of course it’s pretty easy not to “fail” because the mere fact that parents signed their kids up for a lottery shows you that they’re invested in their kid’s education.
Look, Turtleboy went to a school that Charlie Baker and the Yes on 2 folks would consider “failing.” And indeed, plenty of kids at Worcester South High School dropped out after failing for a year or two. To someone looking at the aggregate data they could reach the conclusion that South High teachers weren’t doing their jobs because of the high amounts of failing students.
But it’s simply not true. Don’t think for one second that there was not quality education going on inside that wall-less building. Every single year schools like South and North send kids to Ivy League schools. They offer tons of AP classes and they have faculties of teachers who want nothing more than kids who ACTUALLY want to learn. So if you live in one of these “failing” school districts, your kid will still get a great education and they will be greeted with great teachers who are enthused about seeing them on a daily basis.
But if your kid goes to North High and they’re failing English and Math, that’s a reflection on YOU as a parent. It’s up to you to know why your kid is struggling. It’s up to you to keep in contact with the teacher, because when they have 130 other kids it’s simply not reasonable to expect them to track you down. It’s up to you to make sure your kid is doing his or her homework, getting to bed at a decent hour, and studying for tests.
Counting on Turtle riders to do the right thing and vote No on Question 2 next Tuesday. Here’s 14 reasons why:
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