Not Ready for College LO7183

Benjamin E. Wagner (
Sat, 4 May 1996 20:36:04 -0400 (EDT)

Replying to LO7140 --

Ralph Niebuhr writes: (some stuff deleted)
>Both the "not ready" statistics and the number of inmates will continue to
>grow until a way is found to radicaliy transform a public school system
>which utterly fails to awaken students' minds. This is the root of the

I wish I was a kid again so I could go back to school. When I compare my
education to what schools are providing today, I am envious. I could have
learned so much more. Was I bored back then; of course. Would I be bored
today; of course. But learning involves self-discipline and effort. The
student who says school is boring tells me more about himself than about
his school.

>Teach students how to learn and research, and inspire them with a vision,
>and you will not be able to stop them. This is exactly what we are trying
>to do with our grown-up organizations. One of our highest priorities in
>this process should be to reach out and do whatever it takes to transform
>our educational system into a true "Learning Organization."

I wonder if children with such a short grasp of the future and a strong
urge for immediate gratification would respond as well as adults to a vision.
>From what I have read, it is not easy to get adults to respond to a vision.

>Privatization might be a good first step. At the very least it would
>quickly flatten out the suffocating layers of administrative parasites
>that currently weigh down our public education system.

The more I work with administrators, the more I respect them for their
dedication to improving the lives of children. School systems are local
bureaucracies, some are heavier than others. They do not weigh the system
down nearly as much as our litigious society and recent court decisions.
Privatization might avoid some of the litigation because of the use of
contracts, but would you want your child at the mercy of a bottom line?


Benjamin E. Wagner
Baltimore County Public Schools


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