Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Education, Ellerbee and Arnold

I don’t get to watch good news much; that is well –produced and meaningful. You may wonder, isn’t that a contradiction in terms? No, not if you tune into Nick News on Sunday night at 8:30 PST and see a true news artist, Linda Ellerbee has been wowing us public and commercial TV for decades and she still welcomes the audience's participation by inviting your mind to join in. Last week she did a countdown show, not of hits but of misses: What kids hate most about their school. The site posted a listing of topics and the top 10 included, I hate school lunches to bullying, problems with popularity, dress codes, guns on campus and some really incredible (and basic) educational skills; like how teachers teach to the standardized tests (not for general education and uplifting of the youthful spirit),

The most alarming concern for me was the lack of school materials including textbooks, computers and unbelievably, dictionaries. Pages for homework assignments were torn out and some kids could only share books at school, make it impossible to succeed in a class because they had no tools to learn. So they organized a student walk out to highlight the issue. Great I say, but is anyone listening? Better than that, Ellerbee decided to send the findings to the governor and Department of Education of each state and the White House.

At least in California, I hope our the Governator reads the report before he beheads anymore core players like the teachers, nurses and firefighters, In a recent L.A. Times article, Schwarznegger referred to these groups as “special interests that will run TV ads calling me cruel and heartless,” they will organize protests out in front of the Capitol. Hopefully people will march and write letters and speak up to save our suffering schools and those that keep education alive. There is the possibility of this and actions like Ellerbee’s poll of students at large, will make a difference and the governor will hang on to the promises he made during his bid to unseat Gray Davis. Otherwise our public service workers, our children and citizenry will have gained more than an actor in Sacramento, We will have gained a sorrow greater than ever imagined. If you let people down, how can they ever live up to their potential and follow their dreams? Compassion apparently is not a benefit gleaned in the school of political advancement.

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