To the American School System – a poem – time for real reform

To the American School System

I see the bright eyes of my children.
Eager to learn, trusting.
Can I trust my children to your care?

You are obsessed with testing!
Why do you insist on turning my children’s accomplishments into a number?
Don’t you know the difference between a child and a number?

What are you teaching my children?
Are they learning about adventure, mystery, beauty?
Figures and facts, yes they need these…
but opportunities to discover, friendships and time to play as well.
Or are you only teaching them “critical thinking”?

Who are you to limit my child’s choices?
A few basic guidelines, yes…
long lists of outcomes, no.

Is there laughter in your classrooms?
Will my child learn self-confidence and optimism?
Will they learn about competition and cooperation?

I spoke to my child’s teacher yesterday.
She is harried by stacks of paperwork.
When will she have time to encourage my child?

I understand the pressure to incorporate technology into the classroom
So I ask you to maintain a balance,
Do children spend more time searching the internet or learning to communicate well.

Education is not about gold stars..
Each idea planted in my child must be carefully selected.
I am hoping for a love of nature,
to treasure great literature, to struggle with great ideas
to be generous, to be grateful

In the 60s you removed the Bible from the classroom.
Are you surprised by the increase in drug use, teen pregnancies, suicides, violence?

Are you training my child to be an American citizen…
or to be useful for the corporate world?
Will they learn the responsibilities as well as the rights of being an American?
Will they learn about the revolutionary ideas that formed America?

Will you be honest with my child regarding history?
The lessons of history can save us from many unfortunate mistakes.
Millions of people have died for ideologies that did not deliver.
Think… Hitler, Stalin, Mao
The lessons of history will help my child make informed choices.

Can I trust my children to your care?

Oh you planners and policy makers.  Beware.
Take heed what you do.
You are accountable.
It’s high time to get this right

ENOUGH OF STANDARDS & ASSESSMENTS
time for real reform

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