Monday, May 12, 2008

An Educational Proposal

I'd like to introduce you to a past principal of mine whom happens to be a reader of this blog and happens to share very similar views that I try to promote. Articles will follow this post, as schools in the state of Maryland have become very dangerous to teach AND to learn....

An Educational Proposal
By Quinton D. Thompson

Since education has been the saga of my professional life, I am deeply saddened and thoroughly disgusted as I continue to read about the numerous physical violent incidents, which are occurring in our Baltimore City public schools. However, it is not only prevalent in the City, but also throughout our whole country where it has been reported that well over a million such incidents happened last year in our public schools.

This type of behavior cannot and must not be allowed to continue in the interest of Humanity. The punishment of suspension is certainly not the answer as the guilty ones are probably happy to be out and hit the streets. Occasionally I have noted that Dr. Andres Alonso, Superintendent of the Baltimore City public schools is taking some type of superficial action such as appealing to the public to obtain 600 volunteers to serve as stabilizing elements in the classrooms, which I believe would amount to nothing more than serving as an act of appeasement to the City. There is certainly no such maneuver "as a quick fix" in the profession of education.

Therefore, I would like to submit a proposal. It is quite complicated and involved, and no doubt would take several years to reach maturation. If successfully implemented every child under the age of 17 would have to be enrolled in an educational program.

It is my opinion that the education of every youth in our nation is absolutely necessary for this country's survival as the most powerful nation in the world. At present we are definitely not measuring up to this label because we are not educating an adequate number of individuals to fill the professional and vocational positions necessary for our country to operate effectively. At present we are importing many foreign professionals to serve in the medical and educational areas and recently it was reported that there are not even enough factory workers available. This is an absolute disgrace to our society.

Needed in my proposal:

1. A legal framework must be prepared and approved by the authorities along with the criteria for addressing all school children who have been guilty of unacceptable behavior, such as physically attacking their teachers in the classrooms and attempted gang rape within the school, school drop-outs age 17 and under, and gang members of school age who are involved in attacking school children on their way to and from school, should all be considered for assignment to a special rehabilitation and educational center. However, the contemporary drop-outs should be given the opportunity to re-enroll in school and the ones who refuse should then be assigned to the rehab/ed center.

2. Select a facility such as The Charles H. Hickey complex or the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center on Gay Street, providing for separate dormitories for males and females, spaces for classrooms, academic material and equipment, activities, athletics, entertainment, qualified educational personnel, health facilities and quarters for employees.

3. Seek assistance in the establishment of an educational program to serve in these complexs from the Baltimore City and State Departments of Education, local colleges and universities and other community organizations such as The Living Classroom Foundation, all working in conjunction with the Juvenile Justice System with emphasis on respect and self-discipline.

4. However since, unfortunately, the track records of the effectiveness of the juvenile justice system and other appointed security agencies have not been successful in the operation of juvenile centers in the past, this proposed rehabilitation/education program should be under the supervision of a strong, firm, demanding and respected organization such as the Maryland State Police Department with assistance as needed from The Maryland National Guard.

5. Other components that would need addressing are; uniforms, communication privileges including - mail, phone calls, e-mails, and visitation privileges by relatives and friends and off campus visiting.

6. Goals: Students would hopefully develop a better sense of self-discipline and a more positive attitude which would enable them to become respectful & respected members of our society, earn a high school diploma, and if able apply for admission to an institution of higher learning hopefully with scholarship aid, enlist in the military, or become engaged in a meaningful vocation.

True it would all take considerable long range planning requiring many years for full maturation. It would indeed be a complicated endeavor and very expensive, including additional public school buildings and the training of many more educators and most important increasing their salaries comparable to other professions. In my opinion society has a definite responsibility to salvage the lives of these young confused and troubled youth and in addition the school age drop-outs, not only in their interest but also in the interest and welfare of all citizens. The guilty ones should not be left on the streets to struggle for survival and then become involved with illegal drugs and crimes, soon "graduating" into full-fledged hardened criminals which in the long run would probably amount to considerably more of an emotional and financial burden to the local, state and federal governments than would the establishment of this proposed rehabilitation/educational program.

What a coup this would be for Baltimore City and the State of Maryland if the authorities would join their ideas, efforts and political hands and convince our society, what most would consider the impossible, could indeed be achieved in the interest of Mankind; and then in turn would hopefully stimulate and initiate similar actions in the other states of our United States.

Quinton D Thompson:
(Retired former Head of the Independent McDonogh Middle School located near Owings Mills, MD., with thirty–two years of service in that position.
Retired Naval Reserve Naval Officer with eight years of active service, five during WWII over two of which were in the Pacific aboard the aircraft carrier, The USS Enterprise and then recalled for three more years during the Korean Conflict.)


Anonymous said...

I believe in the same principles of this proposal but I think the legal portion needs to be addressed more fully. I'd also suggest the following issues be included

The location of such facilities should be on military installations, further limiting access to or contact with the rest of the outside world. This also allows for unrestricted search and seizure of all occupied spaces without violating existing state laws.

Last but not least, this must be approved on the federal level as well as the state and allow both state and federal departments of education to withhold funding from any district not willing to participate in the program and divert those funds directly to the program to help cover cost.

Anonymous said...

It sure sounds good to me. I don't think our society would allow that though;
most people think we are too hostile to our young people as it is!!

Anonymous said...

Well, it all sounds fine. But do you remember when you were in
were wrong and the teacher was always right. If you didn't do the
didn't pass. If you misbehaved you were sent home or your parents were
called in for a conference and then they killed you when you got home.
Until children are made responsible for their actions and their parents are
made responsible for their children nothing will help. The gentleman is
right, this sort of thing has been going on for years but the school system
keeps it quiet.

republican patriot said...

I have to comment here myself, My mother passed away over 13 years ago, and she was in the Baltimore City School System for over 30 years. She forecasted ALL of this as being caused by; the lack of respect for authority, the lack of respect for one's elders, and the denegration of the "family unit" of inner city families.