Monday, August 6, 2007

The Truth

Back in the times of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson saw a need for an educated population. The "mob", as they called the uneducated colonists of the time, was too unlearned in the knowledge of the world to make decisions in a true democracy. To alleviate this problem, Jefferson pushed for a national school system for all. Each state was able to make decisions regarding the guidelines of their individual districts and each district was to appoint a school board to oversee the administration and specific rules of the school district. This ideal system worked for a while. I believe it was the 1990's when it finally began to break, at least in our area, and allowed politics to slip into the sacred hall of the school board. Currently, the school board at West Greene is at one of its worst moments. The School Board of West Greene has displayed, over the past few years, a slowly decreasing interest in the education of the students. You can see this most clearly in the increase in the members of the administration. West Greene currently has two superintendents, technically one superintendent and one "assistant to the superintendent". Many people do not understand exactly what a superintendent does in a high school, so I will enlighten you. A superintendent, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, is a person who oversees and supervises an organization or district. Personally, I feel that with a smaller district like West Greene, which recently had a graduating class of 48, it should be easier to supervise, not more difficult and definitely should not require more than one set of eyes for the job.

You can also see the loss of importance that the student has gone through when you look at the textbooks that are currently in use. Subjects like math and science are constantly changing and rearranging according to the results of new ground-breaking research. For example, most Biology textbooks are outdated before they reach the printer's office because of the rapid push in all fields of research going on around the world. The school tries to keep up with these changes in these crucial subjects, but what about the other ones, like English, Social Studies, and Languages? Our textbooks are extremely outdated. Not just by a few years, but by decades. My grammar book from my junior year was published in the 1960's and my American History textbook opened with information on the "current" president, Mr. Ronald Reagan. I understand that the budget is limited, but it seems to me that enough money should have been set aside within several decades to purchase new textbooks for our children. Our school board is cutting corners in the wrong places. Maybe we should help guide the scissors over the correct places.

Read the Rest

This was written by Glen "Buddy" Ruse, a student at Penn State who happens to be a good friend of mine, about the school from which he graduated. It's the sad truth, as it is the school I currently attend.

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