Bullying the schools

The school board in Tucson (and everywhere, I believe) has duty to the community and the children it represents and educates. That duty includes creating and presenting a curriculum for all it’s students.

Working at an independent school, I feel uniquely free to decide what content my students are exposed to. Further, I feel a unique burden to read into their interests, their biases, and their motivations. It is my responsibility that they are able to navigate a complex, pluralistic world, even when that world isn’t evident outside our front door.

At the end of the day, despite guidance from department heads and headmasters, we teachers close our doors and teach. We customize our conversations to each individual student. There is relatively little control by any administration over what we do. They hire good teachers, and get out of the way.

Our educational system is supposed to be set up to acknowledge the regional differences in demographics, history, economies and even climates. Unfortunately, what we end up with is standardized curriculum and testing. The feds can’t tell the states what to do, the states can’t tell the districts what to do. UNLESS, of course, it’s tied to funding.

Threatening to remove funding from already overpopulated and underfunded districts to promote cultural hegemony (as is the case in Arizona), in my opinion is akin to bullying.

And aren’t we trying to stop bullying in our schools?

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