Friday, January 15, 2010

Please choose

I spent 2.5 hours at a training for the new system we will be using in the schools next year to keep track of students, their grades, attendance, discipline, scheduling, credits, medical info, etc. It was really boring stuff. They could have e-mailed us our log in and password and then either given us a short word document explaining in 5-6 paragraphs what to do, or just told us to play around with it and I would have learned the same amount of information. Except I couldn't log on because I don't have "security clearance" yet because they don't know how to define my job for the system. I have no idea why they can't just give me the same clearance I have now. And next week I will go to the training for counselors because I am supposed to help with the scheduling for my school for my Practicum class.

I have no idea if I will be able to log on then because of the same issue. The powers that be that sit in the plush offices on the hill and collect the big salaries have no idea what we do on a daily basis in the schools so the decisions they make for us usually end up not being what we really and truly need.

Speaking of dumb decisions, one thing I learned today really and truly made me angry. We have a demographics page for each student. According to our guy at the district the Obama administration (I have no idea who in the administration) each and every student HAS to choose an ethnicity in order for the schools to receive funding.

Are you kidding me????????

That is exactly what I said.

Here are my issues with this:

  1. The schools are already underfunded, why punish them because someone doesn't see the necessity in letting you know their skin color?

  2. Why is the ethnic makeup of a school's population the business of the government and why should funding be based on that

  3. What happens to those students that are bi-racial? Now they have to choose???? and how exactly are they supposed to do that??? I have never, ever chosen a race/ethnicity on anything I fill out for Brandi because I did not want to choose for her, nor do I think it is fair to make her choose. When she is older and if she wants to choose, fine, but now?? Does she choose white because that is the color of the skin of the people she lives with and the color of the skin of her birth mom? Or black because her skin color black and her birth father has black skin? Oh, but her skin is a wonderful sunbaked black- in the summer when she spends time in the sun. In the winter it is a beautiful olive/light brown. Which parentage does she choose to betray?

  4. Would a poor rural school that is heavy on the "white" category get as much increased funding as a poor, innercity school that is proportionately higher in the minority category? Because they both need the increased funding- to be able to keep and pay the good teachers and to allow them the extra programs that these students need to succeed.

I do see some reasons why it may be stupid for me to be so upset

  1. Schools with a large minority population/large poverty population could use increased funding. This would be an easy way to track that (how is it being tracked now?)

  2. Nope, that's pretty much all I've got in this category- help me out if there are more, I may change my mind. Maybe.

I have added two polls regarding this subject in my sidebar. Please take the time to answer- answers are posted anonymously. (the choices in the ethnicity part are the choices we will have in the new system.)

But still feel free to leave me your thoughts in the comment section.

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shlipea said...

So what are the students that aren't any of the 5 ethnicity choices supposed to do?

Tristi said...

I don't think it should have one single thing to do with ethnicity. A child is a child, regardless of their ethnicity, and is deserving of an education because they exist. We will never achieve true equality until things like this are wiped out.

Karlene said...

Totally agree with Tristi's eloquence!

My SIL and grandson are in the same situation. My SIL is bi-racial, but here in Utah, many people can only see the black and judge him negatively. I think he is the perfect color brown. And even more importantly, he is KIND and SWEET to my daughter and his child.

Why can't they assign the money by family income rather than color? Wouldn't that more clearly accomplish what they want to do—provide extra funding to poorer communities?

Karlene said...

Also, where is the 1/16th native american category?