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What’s killing our school system?

It depends on who you ask. But one thing’s for certain, EVERYBODY has an opinion about our school system. Cue Dr. Patrick Faverty, who is the Academic Coordinator of the Joint Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership at the Gevirtz School. He writes, "The educational world is stuck in the 19th — if not the 18th — century. It is easier for society not to deal with the needs of our children’s future. Let’s move into the 21st century, provide our children with current, available learning tools, and provide our teachers with the support to offer them. Let’s look seriously at the needs of our students and learn to meet them."  He later explains, in BOLD"The problem is that we are trying to drive the educational car while looking in the rear-view mirror. We can’t see where we are going because we’re looking back at what we missed. [What a great line. Read more of Dr. Faverty’s article here at The Santa Barbara Independent.]

As an educator I agree with all of Dr. Faverty’s points. Every student should have access to the same information, via the same tools; especially if technology is one of the tools of choice.  But as a mom of two, I’m going to take a different angle on this one.

My own children’s school: they’re in a school where ROWS rule. There’s also decent technology options. Is the school HIGH TECH? No. Are they getting a good education? Yes. Do they have SMARTboards and wireless access throughout the building? No. But they do have a great working library and librarian. Here’s where they get their information. It’s a very solid and traditional foundation  However, (I know. There’s always a however.) I would be remiss if I didn’t add that their school is parochial and the technological resources are not integrated into the curriculum at all. But contrary to Dr. Faverty’s point, I do believe their educational needs are being met. Am I concerned about the technology? No. They have so much of it outside of school that it doesn’t bother me.

Two asides…

1) I welcome feedback on our little "natives" in rows. That post is coming soon.
2) My tech-savvy, 7 year old daughter loves my cell phone, her iPod and the family science book. She explained to me last night that, "after the heart BEEPS it then releases blood to the rest of the body. But, it has to BEEP first."  


  1. Kris Bordessa says:

    Interesting. Sure kids should have access to modern technology as much as possible, but I think that there are other “tools” that are more important: relevant lessons, hands-on activities, freedom to explore areas of interest, teachers that can pass on an infectious love of learning. I would MUCH rather see money spent on better pay for teachers who are successfully introducing our country’s students to concepts and knowledge that will serve to fulfill their innate sense of curiosity and instill a passion for knowledge.

  2. Amy Bowllan says:

    Thanks for your comment Kris. I agree with your list of tools 100% and point well taken.
    Interestingly, I find that teachers who do instill passion and a love for learning can’t seem to “make it count” in their paychecks. They’re looked at as “not in it for the mission.”