The Air Force Bake Sale - A Blog for Principals and Teachers - School Matters | A Blog for Principals and Teachers – School Matters

 
 

The Air Force Bake Sale

 
 

 

 

iStock 000015382415XSmall 150x150 The Air Force Bake SaleBumper sticker noticed on the back of a van:

It will be a great day when schools have all the money they need and the Air Force has to run a bake sale to buy a bomber.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against the Air Force, and bombers, when used against the right people, can right some of the world’s wrongs. But the point of the bumper sticker is still cogent. Why do schools have to struggle to fund their programs while millions are doled out to other causes?

The above issue came to fore this past week as I read of three San Leandro High students in California who had begun a hunger strike to protest a school board decision to cut $1.4 million from its budget. The cuts would, in the opinion of the students, result in devastating teacher layoffs and the gutting of important programs. While the student reaction is rather extreme (hey, it is California) it does reflect a painful reality that will only worsen as austerity measures hit schools across the country. And, while I do realize that other important areas, such as health care, are frequently targeted as well, I still wonder, do people fully appreciate the value of education? Why is it that schools run bake sales and the Air Force does not?

It would be easy and convenient for us to turn the blame on an unappreciative public who do not understand the challenges involve in the education of their children. We would love to put all those who joke “those who can’t, teach” in front of an overcrowded classroom and see if they could survive, much less effectively teach, for even one day. But that would solve little. Let’s face it, there is a widely held sentiment that believes anyone can teach. Something anyone can do is usually not valued. So, they get the millions for bombers, we get bake sales.

What we must ask ourselves is why does the public perceive the teaching profession thus? After all, every member of this ‘public’ has been exposed to teachers and to schools. They have seen us work; they have been in our classrooms. Why the low opinion?

Perhaps there is a message here for America’s educators. As painful as it might be, maybe we should take a long and hard look at how we run our schools and try to figure out why we are undervalued. Perhaps too many negative experiences have doused the enthusiasm John Doe might have once felt for his educational career. Maybe the fact that many of our schools can be described as ‘islands of excellence among a sea of mediocrity’ will result in the public simply not being very interested in spending scarce dollars to fund yet another mediocre program. Excellence sells even when money is tight, anything less is left to fend for itself.

My humble opinion is that the world needs an educated America no less than it needs a strong America. In fact, our future strength will be determined by our ability to educate our youth. Making the needed upgrades in our institutions so that teachers and the teaching profession are held in the highest esteem should therefore be a national priority.

Share and Enjoy:
  • twitter The Air Force Bake Sale
  • linkedin The Air Force Bake Sale
  • facebook The Air Force Bake Sale
  • googlebookmark The Air Force Bake Sale
 

2 Comments

  1. S Irwin says:

    Well stated, my colleague and the bumper sticker is also a KEEPER!

Post a Comment


 

Educators Calendar Events

Featured Posts

Student Data Sharing: Is this “Big Brother Watching”?

Student Data Sharing: Is this “Big Brother Watching”?

Readers be forewarned; I am about to age myself. When I was in school, George Orwell’s “1984” was required reading. We couldn’t imagine then that much of...

 
Infographic: What Makes An Effective Teacher?  Part II

Infographic: What Makes An Effective Teacher? Part II

Hertz Furniture is proud to present the What Makes An Effective Teacher? infographic series!  Environmental influences such as classroom resources, appropriate...

 
Does Class Size Really Matter?

Does Class Size Really Matter?

As educators, I believe that most of us would prefer fewer students to teach than a larger amount. We might feel that we can give more personal student attention,...

 
Infographic: What Makes An Effective Teacher?

Infographic: What Makes An Effective Teacher?

  Hertz Furniture is proud to present the What Makes An Effective Teacher? Infographic!  Teacher Influences such as pedagogical knowledge, content knowledge and...

 
Let’s Improve Reading… Again

Let’s Improve Reading… Again

When I was in first grade, I was taught to read using a system called, “I.T.A.-The Initial Teaching Alphabet”. Never heard of it? No wonder. I.T.A. used a fake,...

 
ADHD in the Classroom

ADHD in the Classroom

With a 42% increase in reported cases of ADHD since 2003, no doubt you have dealt with this challenging issue in your classroom. It is estimated that 11% of children...

 
Teaching Happiness 101

Teaching Happiness 101

What was the most popular course offered at Harvard University in 2006? What class at the University of California at Berkeley was so in demand that it has now...

 
Video: Does Class Size Matter?

Video: Does Class Size Matter?

Hertz Furniture video blogger Mor Rossler discusses class size and how it affects students. Recently, schools have been trying to reduce the amount of students...

 
Teacher Training! Are You Ready?

Teacher Training! Are You Ready?

In a continuing effort by the Obama administration to improve our school system, the Department of Education has been directed to develop a strategy for evaluating...

 
Video: Learning A Second Language

Video: Learning A Second Language

  Video blogger Mor Rossler discusses the benefits and consequences of learning a second language. Learning a second language is not nationally mandated but many...