Anything you need…Walmart has….lol. Walmart does what it does very, very well.
Schools, on the other hand, are not equipped to be a one-stop shop: Education, Sports, Social Emotional Health, Physical Health, Counseling, Social Work, Nutrition, Etiquette, Medical Services, College placement, Entertainment, Parenting, Job placement, Community Involvement, Internship, Safety, and Mentorship.. The listed items are just a fraction of things schools are trying to provide with minimal success.
Opinion: Do 1 or 2 things very well.
Offering a service just to list it on your District homepage is clever marketing. Nothing more.
7 thoughts on “Schools were not meant to be like Walmart.”
Rare is the school that has the luxury to ignore any of those things.
Think about it.
Schools are highly organized and staffed with capable professionals.
They are the easiest way to implement all sorts of social policies.
Instead of generating a whole new bureaucracy, just tack it onto schools.
Uh oh, they’ve been doing this for years and it’s become too much.
Society has changed from engaged citizens, to important clients, to valued consumers.
Maybe I’m just late millennial lefty scum, but I think this take is baffling .
Yes, teachers are overworked. Yes, schools are underfunded. But that’s why they should be funded better and hire more people to do all of these jobs.
It would make MY job easier if my students were taken care of.
It can’t be all things to all people. It simply can’t.
The “late millennial lefty scum” mentality (just using your words, not that it’s actually negative), is the exact mentality that says “The problem is money. If we give it more money, it will get better.”
But there are problematic incentives created by this and there are fundamental issues that are not addressed by simply increasing funding.
If you have an administration that creates a subordinate and adversarial relationship between teachers and administration, that can create disfunction within the school, lower teacher morale, reduce teacher effectiveness, and harm student outcomes. That kind of thing doesn’t get fixed (or frankly, even identified) by increasing funding. If anything, it papers over the problem and allows them to continue to limp along with a festering social dynamic within the school. Suddenly they get a grant to give 1-1 laptops/tablets to kids. And maybe student scores get a bump for a year or two. Then maybe there’s a funding reapportionment that allows them to hire more aides. And again another bump. Maybe they add a couple of social workers/counselors to the staff. But now administration says that in doing so, many of the most difficult special needs students need to be mainstreamed – even some of the aggressive ones. Creating more disruptions during lessons and additional headaches for classroom management.
But the entire time, administration is still condescending and adversarial with teachers, demanding more “proof” that the teacher is actually doing their job. And why wouldn’t administration expect this? After all, “we” are providing these bright and shiny features to you teachers. Why shouldn’t you demonstrate to us that you’re effectively utilizing these tools “we” are providing? And resentment grows among teachers. Good teachers leave the district and lousy (but loyal to admin) teachers are hired in – often young teachers with no knowledge of what an effective relationship between admin and faculty looks like. Things continue to spiral down – kept from crashing primarily due to infusions of additional funding here and there.
Just a though… Schools are no longer for Education but are for Entertainment and Social Modification. All you have to do is look at the content of programs being offered that are “fluff courses” and the number of “essential courses” in the curriculum. For example, if a school district requires 32 credit hours of courses (at the HS level) and they have a program from which to select from that has 200+ courses (Fluff out weighs Essentials), how does a student balance the course load?
The Corporatization of schools has been in the works for sometime now. My father is an old-school principal. He would tell you that it was his job to be the principal teacher. To help other teachers become the best at what they could do. He wasn’t the smartest man in the world – his words – but he knew how to connect people with what they needed. Nowadays, the principals job is to be a building manager. That’s it. Which means they are supposed to be the marketing branch and branding for the school to the community. Education of students, the improvement of teachers, are all not even part of their job requirements