As the North Carolina General Assembly comes together in Raleigh for another of its patented “special sessions,” public school advocates are looking for lawmakers to make several “fixes” to rather ill-conceived initiatives like principal pay, class-size mandates, and the Innovative School District.
However, as leaders were trying to gather members into their caucuses to go over hidden agendas, it struck this teacher how inefficient schools would be if they were operated in the manner that the General Assembly has allowed itself to be run.
In fact, if schools operated the way this particular special session has operated so far, then there truly would be need for “reform.”
- What if schools could meet whenever teachers felt the need? Forget the stipulation that public schools are budgeted for a 180-day school year and most every state assessment and measurement tool is already set in stone on a calendar. But if teachers could call their own “special sessions” or “special classes,” then we could meet outside of the allotted school calendar and not even worry about the extra costs to taxpayers.
- What if teachers did not have to disclose a syllabus or a lesson plan to administrators or other school stakeholders? That would mean that teachers could go into “sessions” with ulterior motives that would never be known to those who attend class.
- What if teachers could just teach to the students they favored and leave the others devoid of the opportunity to learn? Considering that many in Raleigh’s GOP establishment would rather craft law and policy behind closed doors without open debate and collaboration from all representatives and senators, this would be widely used in schools.
- What if schools didn’t have science classes and environmental studies? It would seem appropriate in this scenario because the GOP-majority has literally ignored the effects of fracking, coal ash spills, and GenX in the environment.
- What if schools did not have to communicate to parents and guardians on the progress of the students? No need for progress or report cards or those pesky conferences. It isn’t as if the current GOP establishment is actually being transparent.
- What if schools could at any time redraw its zones to make sure that the “right” people were slated to go to that school? The gerrymandering of districts would be a great model for this. And those parents who wanted to challenge those boundaries at the school board meeting? That’s no big deal. The gerrymandering of the judicial system happening in Raleigh could be duplicated on a local level.
- What if schools did not have to disclose financial records or be transparent on monies spent? There are a couple of lawmakers in Raleigh under investigation (rather weak investigation at that) for not disclosing financial reports.
- What if schools could enact reform measures that did not have any real research and vetting done beforehand? All one would have to do is look at the ISD initiative that mimics the failed Achievement School District in Tennessee and see that is not just a possibility but a real pattern.
- And what if schools could have spokespeople to deliver erroneous information to cover up blatant ineptitude and partisan schemes such as the statement below?
- And what if schools could decide how much money they should receive and use for resources? No need to expound on that.
These are just ten. There are surely more.
But if schools could run themselves like the North Carolina General Assembly operates, then we would never “fail” in our own eyes.
Just in the eyes in of the very people we are supposed to serve.