The greatest lessons students learn in school are the ones they don’t remember learning. These lessons are not in the standards we teach. Instead, these “great” lessons are learned from the laws we pass, the behavior students observe around them (in and out of school), and the values demonstrated through the media and the society around them.
This true in Oklahoma schools, too. Teachers strive daily to teach traditional American values, and yet our students go home for 18 hours a day and learn the “real” lessons our society teaches about censorship, gun violence, poverty, gender equity, and how consumerism is the greatest goal regardless of who has to be stepped on.
Whose fault is this?
- Is it the teacher who is fulfilling state and federal mandates so that she can feed her own family?
- Is it the legislator who is proposing bills written by the American Legislative Exchange Council that attempt to control schools and label them as failures so that private ventures can take tax payer dollars.
- Is it the student whose father is out of the picture and whose mother is working three jobs to pay for rent, utilities and food?
Our schools are a microcosm of our society. We need to work on repairing society, protecting the weak and the young; the schools will naturally improve when their raw material improves.
In the video below, three teenagers, Belissa Escobedo, Rhiannon McGavin, and Zariya Allen, perform “Somewhere in America” on the Queen Latifah show. The young women are members of the nonprofit Get Lit, an award-winning troupe of teenages from high schools in Los Angeles County, which promotes literacy to their peers.
You can learn more about the Get Lit Players from their website.