Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Friday, June 15, 2007

The future is Third-World

In a recent column by the Sacramento Bee's Dan Walters, he discusses the "triple blow facing California". Walter's commentary discusses the facts regarding the future problems looming for the state of California due to a lack of workers with skills needed to help our state (or any other state), maintain a healthy economy. It talks about the upcoming retirement of our higher skilled "baby boomer" workforce, and that, (to me, THIS is the scary part) "A HUGE PERCENT OF CALIFORNIA'S TEENAGE AND 20-SOMETHING POPULATION, ESPECIALLY NONWHITES AND THOSE FROM IMMIGRANT FAMILIES, ARE NOT RECEIVING THE EDUCATIONS THEY NEED TO FILL THE DEMAND".

IMO, this is scary because it implies that there is a deficit in the educational system that is keeping these young people from receiving the education they need. I don't think so. I believe they do have the opportunity to receive the education they, BUT, tragically, they fail to take advantage of it. IMO, this is in part because far too many of them suffer from a bad/poor attitude regarding education. Look what happens to those students who do take advantage of the educational opportunities offered to them; they go on to live better quality lives because that is part of the wonderful thing about education. People with a good education usually don't end up working two to three minimum wage paying jobs to try to earn enough to have a nice place to live and food to eat.

Secondly, From my experiences teaching in low socio-economic communities, too many parents use the excuse of not knowing or understanding the educational system and opportunities available to their families, they blame their lack of English language skills for their not even bothering to try to learn how the educational system works, how to parent their children. to teach their children how to behave properly or they use the excuse that "that's not the way it worked wherever they came from". A few, over the years, have blamed their children's teachers as being "racist" as the reason their child fails classes. Apparently,to these parents, their child's failure to do their school work and failing their tests is not a factor in school success.

I believe Governor Schwartzenegger was correct in his recent answer to a question about improving education for Spanish-speaking students,when he said Spanish speaking immigrants (who are the vast majority of immigrants in California), need to turn off their Spanish-language TV programs, not read Spanish-language newspapers and books, and LEARN ENGLISH. It has been demonstrated over and over again, that English language skills improve ones ability to get a good education and better paying jobs. (But, this harms the power of the bilingual lobby, but that's not the focus of this post.)

I have never taught summer school. Since I have been teaching, I have never had to find a "summer job". In my earlier teaching days, I often attended summer school to help improve my ability as a teacher and to earn a living. I save a big chunk of each of my ten paychecks so that I can pay my living expenses during the roughly three months until my next paycheck. And, we often are able to get away from home for a short while, not nearly as much as I would like, but supporting a home with four people on a teacher paycheck is the life choice we made. And to the detriment of our country, far too many young people are making the wrong choices in not grabbing the educational opportunities they are offered. California and the USA will be poorer for it.

Thanks for reading this blog.