Monday, October 20, 2014

Educational and Economic Issues in Rural North Carolina- A Local Educator Worries about a Future with Charters and Common Core

I'm from a small town called Gaston, North Carolina. It sits on the North Carolina/Virginia border in Northeastern North Carolina and at one point in time textile mills were king. Fast forward to 2014 and those jobs are long gone and the only thing left in terms of viable jobs are working minimum wage jobs at your local fast food/retail stores or working at Lowe's Distribution Center and International Paper(local paper mill). In regards to education thankfully I was finished before they(the school board) really started pushing common core and now the county only has one local high school(it was two when I was in school) besides KIPP Pride High. The school was founded in 2001 in what used to be a peanut field and has since been a shining spot in our community with the successful graduation rate of students and the college graduation rate. But after reading up on how TFA and KIPP schools operate I can't help but question why do these organizations put profit over the progress of students and teachers of those schools. 5 weeks is not nearly enough time for a TFA recruit to be trained and then sent to teach at a school where students have bigger issues than just a lack of textbooks and school supplies. I say TFA and KIPP should revise their procedures and put the students first. While I'm glad that the  current generation of kids are getting a somewhat better education than I did through some people that are staffed at KIPP that I either went to school or grew up with I just want the current kids to be able to grow into progressive thinkers who won't just go with status quo and know when to stand up for what they believe to be right. Hopefully a child in my hometown in the future won't have to stand up on a desk in a classroom in protest and scribble on paper equal education just to get the basics and then some.(That was a nod to Sally Field's role in the movie Norma Rae which was based off of an incident in my hometown with one of the local textile mills back in the 70's)