How to improve our schools

At NEA’s annual meeting, Irwen Leviston, the superintendent of St. Paul, Minnesota’s schools, spoke.

Among other things he said that our high schools do not receive the funding or public support they should which results in poor science equipment, ill equipped libraries and difficulty attracting the best teachers or keeping them.

He also said that since for years the high schools have have been compelled to accept pupils who may not have been adequately taught by their previous schools, teachers, and by their parents, while also being required to graduate students who can compete at the university level, or else the school gains a reputation as a second class high school.

And yet the high schools are also required to equip their students with practical skills and knowledge in business, science, geography/social studies, history, language, public speaking, domestic sciences, and more –

Furthermore, he complains, “not a few parents are attempting to make the schools entirely responsible for the” morals and ethics the students learn, and responsible high school administrators seriously question “sort of a course in ethics applied through the few school hours of the day will safely carry high school students through the dangers that beset them outside of school hours.

Still, in spite of these difficulties and challenges, he says, “I believe the high school of today is a success,” that it equips its students intellectually, in character building, and is the best place for teens to prepare for the future.

However, of course, he feels the high schools needed to be strengthened in order to adapt and perfect what we already have. And since, he says, the “high school has been widening its field of work to adapt itself to universal needs,” in order to help it further those important aims, it needs more support from the community and less criticism, and, of course, more funding, direct funding.

And that was in 1902.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

found via the Common Room