If you want a good laugh reading the Buffalo News, you don't have to read the comics. Sometimes interesting in his candidness, Rod Watson usually is good for some laughs when it comes to the Buffalo schools. In his latest column, he bemoans the fact that only 40 protestors showed up at Phil Rumore's office the other day. Perhaps they are waiting for a government program to hire full time protestors to show up in their absence?
Forty people, and I'll bet you half of them were the "Occupy Buffalo We'll protest anything with 15 minutes notice" type. Watson is surprised at the low turnout? How many parents does he think show up to parent/teacher conferences in the city of Buffalo? I've talked to some teachers who sit at their desk all day waiting for one parent to show. Does he really think they're going to take time off from the Jerry Springer show to worry about their kids' education?
This parental impotence illustrates the bigger problem in the city, and it's one that millions of dollars won't fix: The majority of students and the parents in the lower performing schools simply don't care! The ones who bother to show up are there more for social reasons than anything else. Disruptive students is an understatement at these schools. If you tell them to put away their phones (in class), they look at you as if you're speaking another language. And where does Watson think they learn this behavior from? From the Buffalo News...
“What we have now” clearly doesn’t work for most students, only about half of whom graduate on time. But it works great for teachers, who refuse King’s call to be held accountable for their ability to deal with challenging kids.
I got news for Watson. What we have now doesn't work great for teachers, either. The teachers I know from the struggling schools are stressed out from trying to raise other peoples' children for them. Challenging kids? Buffalo is forced to pay it's subs $30 more/day than the local suburban districts. It's not because the students are a little bit more "challenging." Watson loves to use euphemisms like "challenging" and "sassing" to describe the behavior of these students. The people I know on the front lines who deal with the disrespectful ones use other words. Disruptive is usually high on the list.
The schools are a reflection of the community. What we have in Buffalo right now is a group of people who want other people to raise their children for them. That's why none of them show up to these protests. The schools and their kids are not their problem. You can throw $6 million or $600 million at the problem and it won't matter. Until the community itself (families) start taking education seriously, nothing will change.
Here's one parent who understands what is really taking place in the classrooms:
Waiting for miracle won’t fix the schools