There are over 600,000 students in the Los Angeles Unified District and they're all about to be abandoned--not by teachers, but by the system. Teachers from the United Teachers of Los Angeles Organization are scheduled to go on strike on Thursday and even though LAUSD has made several attempts and offers to stop the walkout, teachers are persistent to bring actual change.
Why are they going on strike?
Well, when the school nurse only shows up, once a week for a couple of hours, you would, too. Or when you deal with 50 students in one classroom unable to cater to each individual's needs and support them, you would, too. Or when you live paycheck to paycheck and you are encouraged to get a second job by LAUSD itself, you would, too.
With over a billion dollars in reserve, LAUSD still can't improve the school system, and that should really tell us something.
We stand with these teachers because they are our educators. They are the ones enlightening new minds and helping them. They are in charge of our growing generation, and they have the most precious gift to offer: knowledge.
It's ridiculous the conditions these schools are in and although negotiations have taken up to 2 years, the system is nowhere to be fixed.
But hopefully, this issue brings out the importance of reinforcing America's education system and understanding what's wrong, because here are just a couple of things I've noticed:
1. Common Core was created by an insular group of testing executives, not our government or the state
One of the academic specialists out of two (both of whom did not finalize the last version of common core), believed that common core left students with an "empty skill set, lacking literary knowledge."
2. We still determine student acceptance to universities based on standardized testing
Students have access to different resources and there is a clear inequality in that line. Furthermore, the SAT has proven little to show that it actually develops a skill set, rather than just being book-smart and repeating the same patterns over and over again. It is sad to think that America's system is so heavily reliant on a single score that can outrank your volunteer service, your character, and your persona.
3. We kill creativity and just become empty feeding vessels of knowledge
In 2006, Sir Ken Robinson, a British author and international advisor on education, held a moving, must-see TED talk which has been viewed by millions on how schools kill creativity. The primary way schools go about killing creativity is by punishing children for making mistakes, while failure is the prerequisite to learning and creativity. In Robinson's words: "Being wrong is not the same thing as being creative, but if you are not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with something original." It is important to note that creativity is more than artistic creativity; it is the ability to transcend traditional ideas and create innovative solutions by using one's imagination (Click here for more.)
Or read up on the banking model of education.
4. Our universities are regarded as some of the top in the world, but none of our high schools or elementary schools have the same standard
5. Many teachers, especially those of a Caucasian background, are not truly equipped with diversity training
These leaves a huge impact on students of color and minorities as they struggle in school while dealing with unnecessary false empathy by their teachers.
6. America's poor educational system has created a shortage of Americans who can preform high skilled technology jobs
Don't believe me? Ask Dr. Michio Kaku: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK0Y9j_CGgM
7. Most PhD candidates are foreign born, not from the USA!
This is all due to the H1B Visa and because there are very few Americans equipped with such developed skillsets.