Ever seen the old film Blackboard Jungle? I haven’t, either. But the shocking (for the 1950s) film was about juvenile delinquents taking over our public schools.
According to Mobile’s own Lagniappe, Mobile County has its own Blackboard Jungle. Their excellent cover story this week, by Katie Nichols, discusses conditions in our schools. For those interested in reading the story, the link is below –
Among other tidbits, the article reveals that –
– it is impossible to be expelled
– students destroy assigned textbooks and their parents refuse to pay for them. The schools “solve” this problem by not assigning textbooks.
– 55 percent of students graduate (versus 72 percent nationally).
– students receive no punishment for fighting. Teachers just break up the fights.
– one teacher reports that she has been assaulted “numerous times,” but that nothing ever happens to the students.
Some leaders in Mobile County are championing an “80 by 20” initiative. The idea is to raise the graduation rate to 80 percent by 2020. Great idea? Well, in theory, I can’t object. Having spent a lot of time in education, I would bet my bottom dollar that, in practice, raising the graduation rate will mean giving students their degrees, even if the schools have to mail them to Strickland Youth (Detention) Center.
What’s a high school diploma mean these days? It means that you kept showing up for 12 years and that you (probably) are semi-literate. That’s it. No one will hire you for a great job just because you graduated from high school.
My wife and I will beg, borrow, steal, or move to keep our kids out of these schools. The article certainly makes it plain why so many families a) move to Baldwin County or b) foot the bill for private schools.