Meet The Next Generation Of Politically Correct Teachers—Scary!


The twenty years that I spent as an educator for the

Lodi Unified School District
in

California`s San Joaquin Valley
give me grave concerns for the
students who will be products of the K-12 system in future
years.

In my position as an adult English as a second language teacher,
I hired bilingual high school teaching aides to help with
complex enrollment process and to generally put the students at
ease. Since most of the new pupils had

never been in a
classroom in their lives
, they were nervous. Having
someone speak to them in their own language helped assuage their
fears.

The
majority of my helpers were the American-born children of
immigrants from

Mexico
,

Southeast Asia
,

Pakistan
and

India
.

My teaching aides represent the 75 percent of California high
school students that will actually graduate. You`ve read a
considerable amount
about the remaining 25 percent,
the 121,292 who

drop out
every year—what an outrage it is and what might
possibly become of them as they drift into adulthood.

While it`s possible that some of the failures might get their

GED certificates

or learn a valuable trade, the majority of those who don`t get a
diploma are almost certain to live on the fringe…or worse.

As reported by

Brenda Walker
in her

February 2008 blog

and citing the

San Francisco Chronicle`s

story on the subject:

“Each annual wave of dropouts
costs the state $46.4 billion over their lifetimes because
people without a high school diploma are the most likely to be
unemployed, turn to crime, need state-funded medical care, get
welfare and pay no taxes, according to the report.” [
High
School Drop Outs Cost State Billions
,
by Nanette Asimov, San
Francisco Chronicle
, February 28, 2008]

But
what will become of my guys who, one can argue, are among the
cream of the K-12 crop?

They
stood out among their peers because:



  • They took the initiative to look for a job, particularly one
    that`s not in fast food




  • Maintained a 2.0 GPA, the minimum to obtain a California
    work permit for minor students.





  • Instilled enough confidence in their high school work
    experience counselor to have him sign off on the work
    permit.





  • Had
    the support and encouragement of at least one parent who
    must also sign.

So far, so
good.

But what I eventually learned about my young
aides was that they

knew practically
nothing about any subject.

At no time during my two decades did one
single aide spell “a-i-d-e”
correctly on the job application, writing it instead as
“a-i-d.”

Other
problems:



Geography

was a particularly troubling subject.

  • No one could point to

    Stockton
    ,
    where they lived, on a blank map of California.


  • None could identify the

    Sierra Nevada
    Mountains,
    although they were visible from their
    home.




  • Only a handful could quickly tell me the difference between
    the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

The now compulsory

California Exit Exam
changes little. Few graduates still have
any grasp of core curriculum subjects. 
The

Senior Project
,
a writing assignment mandatory for graduation, produces few
well-written essays. Of all the subjects the current crop of
students struggle with, composition is at the top of this list.

For the most
part, my aides followed my simple three-step formula (that I
never shared with them but which I hold as tried and true) to
earn a high school diploma:


  • Don`t cut class



  • Turn in your assignments and take your tests on time




  • Don`t make trouble

Obey those
rules and most will graduate. Believe me, with California school
overcrowding

as acute as it is, no administrator wants to
flunk students
.

What`s new
(and frightening) about my aides`

academic ineptitude
is not only that they are college
bound—but that they want to become

teachers
!

And why
wouldn`t they? The profession remains one that,

despite it all
, is admired. And when many of these young

first generation immigrants
announce their plans to pursue a
teaching career, it`s a cause for a
family celebration
.

But when

largely unenlightened
students
obtain an

education degree
to one day teach your youngsters, that`s when things get
truly

scary

Early on, when I talked to my aides about
their career plans, they told me of their aspirations to be
lawyers or perhaps doctors. But they weren`t far into their

university days

before they realized that those professions were out of reach
because they require a solid academic foundation which my young
friends did not have.

What they
were
well schooled in
during the eighteen years they spent in
California`s

politically correct
K-12 system was

multiculturalism,
ethnic awareness and tolerance
.

Those
“qualities”
will, tragically, be reinforced during their
university years.

Upon graduating from college, the end product
then will be an under-informed, not too intellectually curious
individual who will have the responsibility for preparing

your child
for the real world.

Good luck!

Not long ago, I got a phone call from a former
Vietnamese aide who was several cuts above the average. She had
just graduated from the
University of Southern
California Dentistry School.

After we
shared some laughs about the old days, she told me:

“In all my years in
school, I never heard any one express ideas similar to yours. No
one ever challenged me to look at the opposite side of social
issues. I still don`t agree with you about everything you say
but I see things a lot differently now.”

Her comment
is both flattering and depressing.

I have to
assume that neither academic standards nor the politically
correct environment in public schools will improve in our life
time.

That leaves
parents with three viable options:


  • Somehow impress upon children that they will get out of
    public school exactly what they put into it. Hard
    work—theirs and yours—may still pay off.




  • Home schooling



  • Private school—start saving now.


California public education—forty years ago America`s best—has
been killed by immigration. And to this day, no one in
Sacramento`s

Department of Education
will admit it, much less take steps to
correct it.


 

Joe Guzzardi
[email
him]
is a California native
who recently fled the state because of over-immigration,
over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He
has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the
growth rate stable.
A
long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School,
Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It
currently appears in the


Lodi News-Sentinel.