Hope for our Public Schools

Friends,

When it comes to addressing the problems in our public schools, I have heard this over and over again:

The reason public schools are failing is because they are expected to replace parents who are not fulfilling their roles as parents. That it should not be the job of the public school system to raise children– teaching them virtues, and providing character education that should be taught at home. They say that there are only so many hours in a school day, and when teachers are required to focus on such programs as anti-bullying, character and virtue development, substance abuse awareness, etc., it means less and less time for academics.

This sounds reasonable, but unfortunately it’s simply not true.

Today’s kids are so starved for character education and virtue that they can’t learn. No matter how much Math, History, or English we force down their throats, most of it doesn’t stay down, because of the sickness in their belly they’ve contracted from the toxicity of our culture.

I was talking with a coaching buddy of mine the other day.  He coaches in a small suburban school district in Northern California.  We we’re talking about the dis-function of kids on his football team.  He has about 50 kids out for football. Of those 50 kids he can identify:

One with ADHD, six developmentally disabled, five ESL kids who are failing academically, four kids with emotional problems whose fathers are (were, one died) abusive alcoholics, seventeen who appear to be normal well-adjusted kids, and seventeen kids whose parents are divorced, some who are developmentally disabled, some failing academically, most with some kind of emotional disorder.

Most people in education today, when presented with information like this, seek remedies like building more buildings, buying more computers, hiring more teachers, raising standards, and increasing the number of higher-level courses.

This approach will not work.

These kids need to develop their characters and build virtue before they will be prepared to participate in meaningful academic pursuits. And, whether you like it or not, character development and the teaching of the virtue’s, is not going to happen in most homes today.

We have got to face this reality.

The truth is that if we are going to turn this ship around and prepare our kids for the challenges of this new technological age, schools need to invest in and implement K-12 Character Education and Virtue Development programs, and target those programs to the specific needs of a diverse and suffering student population. Academics can only be built on a foundation of character and virtue.

We need to put Virtue First!

Here is a link to an interesting clip on education.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U