remo.cosentinoover 1 year ago
I couldn't agree more.
As an immigrant of 8 from Italy, I was placed in the first grade of the local grammar school in Brooklyn, NY. There were no ESL programs: it was sink or swim with only my native intelligence and quiet behaviour to see me through. But there was more: dedicated teachers, accepting fellow students. I seamlessly became part of the class and hardly aware that my mode of communication became English and not Italian.
It wasn't always untroubled; gradually I became just another student and no longer the "other". This was the ducational system in New York in the Forties: we learned geography and numbers, music and drawing, and most of all reading. We received the skills to advance: plan and paint a ten-foot mural about other cultures, write a school play and act and sing in it. Did we have tests? I suppose so, but it was not traumatic. Eventually, I went from the sixth grade to the the seventh and eight grade: the emphasis was to make us aware of as much as possible. Few of us were expected to go to college after high school, if we finished high school. But some of us did. We not only complet High School but went on to College: for me a BA and another degree in Fine Art. There were none of the "race to the top" programs, or any of the private initiatives that you disparage. I, and many of the children, of that generation did fine without them.
Education should be for the students not a playground for educational reformers. Public Education should be taken back from the "merry band of billionaires". I was not in Education; now at 83 I am at a local Community College as a volunteer. I do see the challenges of a bad education. The problems won't be solved with programs that these "do-gooders" have imposed on the nation. Before they to race to the top, students should be given the tools to move on in measured steps with "… a deep and rich curriculum for all students regardless of circumstance or background" I consider myself a beneficiary of a deep and rich curriculum of the past.