Sunday, June 26, 2011

We survived!

Well, 7th grade has finally ended and needless to say all that remains are the battle wounds.  We have packed up every piece of paper, assignment, and binder and put it away where you would never find them again.  This past year, in fact 180 (ish) days have been our war.  We have had the most amazing resources at the school from the magnet coordinator, school counselor, Assistant Principals, and teachers.  However, life was not too cooperative.

Each year I learn more about what kind of student my son is and what he isn't.  What is too bad, is that fitting his square peg into the LAUSD round hole is challenging to say the least.  From procedural problems, to parental hopes, the 180 days of instruction and homework have left deep battle scars on all involved.

The collateral damage from the year has wounded us emotionally, psychically, and physically.  What remains are three empty shells of individuals who are left wondering what will come next.  While this may sound very dramatic, the year was just that.  There is no sugar coating on what we faced, but the fact that we are still in one piece is a testament to the inner-strength, perseverance, and hope for a better 8th grade.

Let me close by saying that unless the parents of public school children don't show some rage at the inept and bureaucratic LAUSD with the over-paid administrators, inappropriate teachers, and lack of funding to educate our children, then we will continue to place in the lowest numbers of per-student spending and educational ranking.  We are a third world country when it comes to educating our kids.  This rage needs to rear its ugly head or we can count this generation out -- and there is nobody to blame but ourselves.  I have been on many a parent groups, focus meetings, and numerous committees and know this first hand. This rage has to come from across the city, in all the communities, all the parents.  It is no longer acceptable to have some parents speak for all.  It is no longer acceptable to have some voices at the table.

According to the Silicon Valley Educational Foundation,
"This year, California ranked 43rd among the states and Washington, D.C.; last year it was 46th.   The $8,852 spent per pupil in 2008 – before the full impact of the recession hit California’s schools – was $2,371 below the national average of $11, 223. It will probably be headed lower once 2009 and 2010 figures are out. California is  squeezed between #42 Washington, just ahead of Arizona, and a freefall behind top-spending, low-cost Wyoming’s adjusted figure of $17,114.  California spends 3.5 percent on K-12 schools as a percentage of state taxable resources, 10 percent below the national average; it ranks 36th."
For the full report on California's ranking, please click here.

We're Not Gonna Take It
Courtesy of the Glee Project

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