Saturday, October 22, 2016

Another One Bites the Dust

I work at Paxon High School, a dedicated magnet school for accelerated academics. Students are in one of two programs: International Baccalaureate (IB), in which they take the prescribed curriculum and undergo IB tests in order to earn an IB diploma recognized around the world as prestigious and as an entry ticket into any college/university; AP Honors, in which students take numerous AP courses and undergo AP tests to earn college credits during their high school years.

It is a high school that routinely is ranked in the Top 25 High Schools in America.

Now for the theme of this post: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wz_DNrKVrQ8

We lost our Media Specialist this week. The District insisted that the position be eliminated despite the alternate suggestions put forth by the school.

Another one bites the dust.

You would think that a dedicated magnet would be allowed to devise its program in order to attract students: that is the point of a magnet school.

You would think that a dedicated magnet would be allowed discretion to make the decisions necessary to maintain its program.

You would think that a dedicated magnet such as Paxon would need an effective, operating Media Center to maintain its program.

Apparently, you would be wrong.

Another bites the dust.

And if a school like Paxon is not allowed to maintain and operate its Media Center, what hope do you have for our neighborhood schools, where the need for literacy is even greater?

Oh yeah, we have Achieve 3000 for that. No need for a library.

If you believe that, then you believe that the purpose of school is to prepare students to pass tests, specifically one test given once a year in April.

If you believe that, then you believe that children are not human beings with lives of their own, developing according to their age-driven agenda, and worthy of our best efforts. You believe they are test-taking widgets with a job to do and they had better get on with it—like the old Victorians, who believed and treated children as if they were tiny adults.

But know this: Google will never replace a media specialist.

Another one bites the dust.

If we have to have the budget people make the academic decisions, then my District needs to stop half-going about it. Our Media Centers are closed. Sell the books, remove the shelves, and what a big space you have. Large enough to move in a hundred chairs and deliver instruction like the big colleges: large lecture halls with TAs (minimum wage paraprofessionals or even better, upper classmen who don’t need to be paid but can fulfill graduation-required community service hours) to support.

You could still claim to be meeting Constitutionally-required class size requirements.

Don’t stop with Media Specialists; think of all the high-wage teachers you could dump.


Another bites the dust.