What About the Children?

Chicago teachers are in the third day of their strike. Meanwhile, what happens to the students?

Teachers are reportedly striking for better pay and smaller class size. They have been speaking to parents about ongoing problems to gain support, but I wonder how long this support can be sustained. I have not followed the story since the beginning, but I wonder- school just started, could this not have been addressed before the year began? I suppose it would not have the same impact since the kids are missing school…

I do not minimize the issues that the teachers claim; I know of similar issues in DC schools. They cite classrooms that are stifling hot without air conditioning, important books that are unavailable and insufficient supplies of the basics, such as toilet paper. It’s just that, at the end of the day, the kids always suffer. Our kids can not afford to miss days (possibly weeks) of instruction.

I maintain that the issues that plague this country’s public school system can be fixed if students were truly the priority. Levels of administrators as well as local and federal politics continue to clog any inch of progress. All the brilliant minds in the U.S. not to mention promising models put forth by school districts that dot the nation, you can’t tell me that we can’t figure out how to give our kids the type of education that they deserve. All the tax money, the bright young and committed teachers, our dismal placement on the global education stage- why can’t it happen?!?

I have several friends and colleagues who are teachers. I respect them immensely for their passion and dedication to our children. They are frustrated by the challenges but choose to focus on the possibilities. They also maintain that the system could be fixed if everyone truly wanted our children to excel.

I thought our global descent in the areas of mathematics, science, research and technology would have been the catalyst. What will it take?

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