You can’t send 10 – 14 million illegal immigrants home. Even if you could locate them, even if you had enough manpower to detain and deport them, I doubt our economy could take the blow. They are holding up the lowest rungs of the service sector in many parts of the country.
So we are going to educate their children. Those kids won’t just hide in the basement or attic. I have no clue how many of my students came here through the back door. (I actually could make a reasonably good guess, but I’m not asking and I’m not supposed to ask.) I expect a fair number will never return to their home country in any case.
What does this mean for education? It means we need effective bilingual programs that prepare these students to enter American society. Right now, programs are a hodgepodge of philosophies and agendas. California and Arizona dictate one year of bilingual education while Illinois will allow a student to go from kindergarten through high school in bilingual classes. What’s best? We need to figure that out.
College libraries are loaded with academic research. Doctoral candidates fill libraries as they attempt to describe the many different states of American education, spewing out reports of varying validity and reliability.
It occurs to me that much of our older research may be pretty useless, though. The world has undergone a paradigm shift. America’s students are becoming steadily more linked into the world wide web and steadily less separable from each other, their electronics providing them with a constant barrage of communication. In the meantime, America has many more young, single parents, resulting in many minimally supervised children. Gangs control some neighborhoods. Demographics are changing all over the place.
The children of today are not the same children who participated in the studies of the sixties. Their lives are too different. Their educational experience is necessarily different from those children who were young in the mid-1900s.
For example, homework studies of the past may genuinely no longer apply to today’s school population. The conditions of homework have changed too greatly. My students can go home and look up an essay, and then copy and paste that essay into a word document, or simply buy the essay outright. Even if they only copy and paste bits, the effect on learning is profound. The effect on integrity is equally profound.
Some weeks are so hard that it’s just impossible to blog them. Many people like to read accounts of brave, plucky people fighting against the invading aliens at all costs. Apocalyptic fiction has a real audience. But I believe almost no one would like to read a real-life, blow-by-blow, genuine account of that apocalypse. (Then again, “The Road” did pretty well.)
I don’t mind paperwork. I do mind nonsense paperwork, especially when I see that this work is creating extra confusion and trouble.
They have moved everybody’s rooms. I am to be on the second floor, sunside in a decrepit, older building without air-conditioning. The Principal promised he’d help, and I absolutely believe in his good intentions, but I also believe that I am screwed. I nonetheless had the kids move anyway. Maybe the invading alien hordes will put me out of my misery before I am actually forced to occupy that physical space.
If not, the 85 degree rule will go back into place. Above 85 degrees, we go outside if at all possible. Above 90 degrees, we go outside regardless. The test will be canceled at those temperatures for sure. Sigh.