Challenges Facing Education-Part I

Overview and Classroom Environment
Part I

Classroom environment, school closings, teacher certification, low test scores, school violence, large budget deficits, pension underfunding, government borrowing, teacher and other staff layoffs, and “No Child Left Behind’ are areas of concern in educating our children today. Some of these areas of education will be examined in this series, some more in depth than others, and Chicago’s public school system will be featured.
Other matters involving education that need to be addressed are charter schools, overspending/deficits, and fiscal responsibility. For the billions of dollars being spent on education today, the results should be better. It is time to get serious about education and make changes needed to educate our youth.
Of most importance to educating our children is the learning environment. That would encompass where learning takes place and the effectiveness of the teacher.
In order to teach, the classroom environment should be conducive to learning. Based on numerous reports from substitute teachers, that is not the case in many classrooms. Many classes are now taught by substitute teachers. You might say that, “A substitute teacher can only talk about the subject from a substitute’s perspective.” And you’d be correct, but some of the behavior reportedly witnessed by the substitute teachers is confirmed by permanent teachers too. The behavior is hard to believe. True, the substitute teacher may not get the cooperation of students as the permanent teacher does because the permanent teacher has resources not available to the substitute, namely being able to contact the parent when needed.
When children are in school, they are expected to behave in accordance with school policy. In Chicago, it is called the Student Code of Conduct (SCC). However, that code is not always implemented in dealing with student misbehavior. The SCC encompasses acts of impudence, cursing, bullying and fighting. Punishment should depend on the severity of the infraction. Student misbehavior should be handled immediately to be effective, with the perpetrator(s) identified by name. The punishment should be applied as the SCC rule indicates. Sometimes the problem is ignored. Whatever the reason, ignoring the problem doesn’t make it better. One wonders if all teachers know that the code of conduct exists

Author: Janice Hypolite

I am also amazed that I am an author and publisher. “Disorder in the Classroom” is my first work. I have had to do a great deal of writing on the job, but never thought seriously about being published. In addition to writing, I worked as an accountant and a substitute teacher. I was born in Chicago, Illinois and have lived here most of my life. I attended public school throughout my elementary and high school years. Basically, I am a product of Chicago’s south side. Upon graduating from Roosevelt University, I began my professional accounting career. It was easy to get a job after graduation because I already had the experience needed to land a position in the field. Therefore, you could say that I was one step ahead of most graduates. I had worked in non-profit organizations and government positions and that is basically the area where I would stay for the next 30 years off and on. In accounting, I achieved the position of controller, which is just about the top of the line for one taking that career path. I learned very much about the accounting profession in attaining that goal, but I learned even more about on the job politics. I have met many people throughout my career and I will say that some of my experiences have been intriguing . Although I have not been able to exercise as much as I would care to, I believe in physical fitness. I have worked out at health clubs and have walked and jogged (before the broken ankle} for the past 30 years. I am the mother of two daughters, Donna Stone and Deana King and a grandmother. I am also a divorcee. This blog is dedicated to my position on education and politics in Chicago. I hope you find them relevant.

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