Common thread or voices in my head?

I’m discovering a very troubling thread between the education reports in the media and our children. In my observations, it appears to me that our children (yes, I’ll use the plural to be consistent with the media) are being used to persuade the public to accept choices and decisions made by our school and political leaders. I don’t like it. It’s criminal. Yet the criminals go unpunished, say the voices in my head.

Exhibit A1 (From an earlier post): Education reforms are signed into law
Take a look at the photo from this article. The governor is sitting down and he’s surrounded by children first, then parents (I think). Our mayor is in the far right. What’s the message the media and politicians are sending to the reader? That the children are happy because of this reform? I don’t think they should be there. How many of them know what this new law really means? What makes this photo worthy of being published? When I saw it, I heard the voice in my head saying, The children are pawns in the political game of adults.

Exhibit A2: Quinn signs bill that lengthens school day
Same story, similar photo. I won’t repeat myself. This time, take a look at the children. Do they really know what’s going on? They’re pawns for these adults.

Exhibit B: 1st-grader gives thumbs up to push for longer school day, year
No photo here, but the mayor is explaining the virtues of longer school days to one child. Really? Does anypeep see this exchange of words as a form of intimidation or bullying? Ya know, the bigger kid tells the smaller kid what to do and think? I’d like to see the mayor take up this conversation with the teachers.
This is analogous to a drug lord talking to a child about the virtues of selling crack; and the newspaper spinning it to read like the child will profit greatly from this agreement.
This is not objective reporting. This is a shameless plug for the mayor; and the children are nothing more than an accessory to this adult’s crime.

Exhibit C: CPS teachers making home visits? New CEO Jean-Claude Brizard floats idea
Like Exhibit A1 and A2, students are used to make the politicians look good by the media. It’s not just the media’s fault. I blame CPS for directing the media to this event. Give me the report without the child actors. That’s really what these students are to this administrator. Why do we allow our students to be used like this?
Then there’s this excerpt from the article:

Brizard bristled when asked whether he considered it safe to send teachers into crime-ridden Chicago neighborhoods.

“Our kids go there every single day, so why not?” he said. “As a teacher, I visited schools. I visited homes. I worked in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It was not a cupcake neighborhood. If our kids go there every single day, why shouldn’t our adults be there, too?”

In other words, we must go where our poor children live. How noble. Doesn’t the mayor wonder why the children live in these unsafe communities in the first place? Ah, this was not the moment to defend children, this was the moment to use children to defend adult decisions.

I could go on, but I won’t. To think that the politicians, media, and school officials are getting away with this is difficult for me to accept. It’s wrong. If these adults truly cared about these children, they wouldn’t use them to push their agendas. This is child exploitation. It needs to stop. At least that’s what the voices in my head keep sayin’.

6 thoughts on “Common thread or voices in my head?

  1. I agree with you. It’s exploitive and opportunistic. These are the easy lines though. To really help children in education it would take a lot more than a political message. The problem….it’s hard to sell the complicated. It’s really hard to say we need to re-evaluate the entire foundation. Besides, Suffer the Children… The poor children…..who’s going to argue? Ok, I would, you would. I just…why is everyone concerned with length of learning and high test scores? Why is no one asking, “why are children not learning how to learn?” it’s about putting information together and using it. 10 hours of trying to memorize formulas cannot be better than 4 hours trying to understand how to use one, when to use one, and why it’s used.

    Or you know…maybe I’m just bitter from my four years in Texas public school which really makes this state seem sensible. The entire thing is political trash that will continue to be used until it doesn’t work.

  2. Did anyone read the part where Emmanuel promises more birthdays? Seriously?

  3. Realist, you’re absolutely on the right track with this. Instead of defending every single call for reform – however nonsensical – with the claim that it will support our children or support student learning (our favorite claim), I’d love to see real documentation that these changes are/will be effective in accomplishing specific positive goals.

  4. Thanks for the feedback peeps. I’ll be keepin’ my eyes open for more of this political corruption of our educational institutions.

  5. Is this where life imitates art? Were there not a couple of movies where teachers visited their student’s homes?
    I guess this new policy is taken from a movie script. Get real policy makers will part of the teachers professional development include using firearms for self defense?

    • Ummm….. Headstart has been having individual days where they will have sessions at home with students for years. Its not really a new concept. As for life imitating art, maybe. I’m guessing schools are going more toward that Harry potter in which ridiculous rules of false educate and simplified lessons rule schools, kicking out subjects of any critical analysis.

      Oh…..brought the idea of longer school days up to a couple of CPS parents. They thought it was a grand idea because the schools need to keep the kids out of trouble. It won’t parents. Your kids will fight in school. They’ll be more likely to ditch. All the fun of puzzling or innovative classes and artistic outlets will disappear. More kids will be lost in the cracks. It’s not length of classes, test scores or budgets. It’s about learning. None of these agenda politicians care about that. I’m beginning to wander if parents and administration care. School shouldnt just be daycare. Kids shouldnt be political props. Yet, this does seem to be the world we are living in.

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