Friday, September 21, 2012

Public schools

OK, I'm really not even going to mention that I did it again.  I was going to blog about my newest obsession, The King Brothers of Freedom Farms, aka the Farm Kings.  They look something like this:


Don't worry! I will be doing a post on them very soon. Very, very soon! Unfortunately I have another topic that is really nagging at me.

Princess Bear (PB) got sick last Thursday night.  It was probably triggered by the fact that keeping my daughter away from cats and dogs is simply impossible even with her allergies.  Her piano teacher has 2 new kittens that PB was all about petting.  They really are darling kittens; black!   I LOVE black cats!!!  Anyway I digress PB was playing with the cats and her allergies were already acting up.  This led to a full blown upper respiratory infection.  Thursday night she woke up in the middle of the night running a 101.9* temp.  It was not pretty (especially since Friday was my birthday).  I started breathing treatments Friday morning because she developed a hacking cough.  We were trying to get her healthy enough to go to my cousins wedding today but no dice.  PB missed school on Friday & Monday.  In the scheme of things not too bad for her.  The condition of her going back to school is that she needed to have a breathing treatment at noon.  Since we use samples from the Dr for her breathing treatments because the prescription costs around $400 the school nurse cannot give PB her breathing treatments.  So this Mom has been going to the school daily to do it.  It's amazing what you see when you are in the office a lot. 

Now I really don't understand this but the entire district that my daughter is in is a very poor district.  The entire school is on a grant program that provides free breakfast and lunch to each student daily.  That could be its very own blog post.  It's amazing what they feed these kids.  Back to the school in general.  Here are some stats I found when I googled her school.

Overview: XYZ Primary School

Grades Offered Grades PK-6

Total Students 443 students

% Male / % Female 52% / 48%

Total Classroom Teachers 41 teachers

Students by Grade

This School (IL) School Average

Teacher : Student Ratio 1:11

This School (IL) School Average

% American Indian n/a

% Asian 2%

% Hispanic 7%

% Black 61%

% White 29%

Unknown 1% 3%

This School (IL) School Average

% Eligible for Free Lunch 77%
% Eligible for Reduced Lunch 11%

School Statewide Performance View Education Department Test Scores

School District Name Peoria 150 School District

District Total Revenue $178,634,000
District Expenditure $181,355,000

District Revenue / Student $12,875

District Expenditure / Student $13,071

So just a few thoughts off the top of my head.  There is no way that there is a 1 teacher to 11 student ratio in this school.  I know that it is because they have so many special needs kids and some of them are 1:1 so it's very deceiving.  I won't start with how in reality the school is very, very, did I mention very understaffed.  Probably not legally but in what should be done for the best interest of the kids.  PB is in a special ed room (more like a glamorous closet) with 6 other kids.  They share their aide with another classroom (located 1/2 way across the building).  The teacher is spread too thin and the room is too crowed.  PB has to go in the hall when its time for her to work on her math work. 

It is so sad to see how the majority of these kids are dressed and taken care of.  I can understand not having money and not being able to buy things.  It's just so sad.  The kids are in uniforms that are too short, too small, too big or in general disrepair.  It's just heartbreaking.  If you want to look beyond that there is the general attitude of the kids.  There is absolutely NO respect for adults.  I can't tell you how many times I've heard kids acting up or out.  It's just sad.  If you say something to them they either laugh at you or look at you like you've grown another head.  When I was waiting for PB to come to the office the other day a little boy was sitting on the arm a chair.  One of the aides I know well told him to sit correctly so he wouldn't get hurt.  The child looked at her and completely disregarded her.  A few minutes later another adult told him to sit properly.  Again the child completely disregarded her.  Now I'm not sure about you but I would never, ever, ever complete have disregarded an adult when I was young.  Now part of it was I was sent to Catholic schools from kindergarten through high school.  And when I pushed the limits in high school the consequence was an all woman's boarding school.  I understand that you generally get a better education and get away with less in Catholic schools.  That said I also know that if I was ever that rude or disobedient I'd get my a$$ beat.  No ifs ands or buts.  I was hit for reasons much less severe than that I can't even imagine!    Honestly, what is wrong with kids now????  I thing the answer lays in a few things: 1) kids know that the school and/or adults wherever can't really do much to discipline them.  2) The world is so scared of child abuse that its done a complete 180* to the point that parents hands are tied.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of the beat the butt game.  Mostly because I lived with it on a very regular basis since my mom was not any better at controlling her temper when I was young.  I do think that if I parent hits their child in a way designed to get their attention instead of trying to impart pain its OK if that's what they believe in.  Unfortunately if you do that now DCFS will be on your doorstep before you know what happened.  For the life of me I will never understand.  Dealing with DCFS is such a joke.  Incompetent doesn't even begin to cover it.  I worked in daycare for several years.  I had a little girl in one of the toddler rooms that came in with obvious cigarette burns, iron burns and other marks.  I called DCFS.  DCFS sent a man to work with a little girl that was around 16 months old.  First not very bright thing in my mind.  Then he wanted to interview the girl in a room without anyone else present.  Um, let me think about this for a second, NOPE!!!  I finally said if he wanted to interview the child it would be with me in the room.  I would remain silent but I wouldn't send her in there by herself.  He finally agreed.  The man asked her burned her and the little girl named several people.  The DCFS worker asked to have the little girl taken back to her room so we could speak.  He had the gall to look at me and say "It's obvious that she's lying.  Next she'll tell us that the Easter Bunny and Santa burned her too."  Absolutely NOTHING was done.  I can't even tell you how angry I was.  I called and talked to his boss and filed a complaint but of course nothing happened then either.  On the flip side I have a friend whose daughter decided to poke her screen out of her window and stick her head out the window.  My friend was found to be negligent and had to go to parenting classes and all other kinds of rigmarole.  Seriously?????   I don't want kids to live in fear but I do want them to know that if they mess up there are consequences.  If that takes getting your butt popped so be it.  If that is losing TV for a week so be it.  If that is losing phone privileges so be it.  Parents and schools need to be able to get across to kids what is acceptable behavior and what isn't.  When they can't do that we have a generation of kids that think they can do whatever they want without any real consequences.  Never a good thing.    I was also going to discuss our failing school system and No Child Left Behind but this has already gotten too long.  SO- you have at least 2 more blog posts from me in the near future!  Freedom Farm/ King Brothers and No Child Left Behind! 

Catch ya later!

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