Maybe it's that I'm still tired from losing that hour of sleep this weekend. Maybe I'm cranky because it's Monday and I have a 3 hour class tomorrow night that amounts to jumping through a hoop. I don't know.
Regardless of all that, I'm sick of hearing about how our public schools are failing.
I do believe our schools can do better. I do not believe they are failing.
There are areas in which we desperately need to improve. We must do more for children living in poverty. We must help students learn to problem solve and be creative rather than follow directions and conform. We must be willing to question the status quo. I believe schools could work better with significant changes.
However, I'm a product of public schools. Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Richard Feynman, and Katie Couric are all products of public schools. Most of the people crying that our public schools are failing are products of those same public schools. Most people are happy with their local public school. It's 'public schools' they don't like.
We educate everyone (not always perfectly but we take them all). We attempt to offer options to meet the needs of gifted students, students with disabilities (physical, emotional, learning, etc.), and those who just don't fit in.
We're not perfect, but to say we're failing (and to say it from the highest offices in the land and on the covers of magazines and newspapers and on the daily news and on and on) is a slap in the face. So far we're turning the other cheek, but at some point we're likely to give up, give in, and walk away. Then our public schools will fail.