Third week of teaching high school, we still struggle with one basic principal that will aid in the learning of ASL, turning off spoken English - when requested or indicated it is time to keep the voice off.
The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. ~Aristotle
Nonetheless, it is interesting to see how political our education system has become. When one knows, one does not begin to understand until they have step into the system. For a long time, we have known that deaf education is highly polarized and in the last few years, we have begun to see how politics is interfering with education.
Y'all remember the "No Child Left Behind" law? This law was not exactly created by educators, they were created by political educators. I am sure they tried to fit in a 'one size fits all' in the process. They forgot that humans are by nature not 'one size fits all' at any age. We try for conformity, but once we find where we fit in, we break away from the 'norm' and become free to be ourselves.
Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. ~Oscar Wilde
I remember an article from a local newspaper where a principal lamented that students with disabilities are pulling down the school's grade. At that moment, it became a red flag. In the years since NCLB has been created, we have seen schools struggle, not because of students with disabilities. Schools rather blame those who struggle rather than see the issue and find a solution. It is that politics have interfered in education. For many legislators, the maximum education they got were as students at college. Many of them have not taught in the K-12 system, they were parents... sure, but being a parent is not the same as being a teacher.
Indiana School for the Deaf is one of those schools who know that struggle is a part of daily living, as they get students in middle or high school who have yet begun to live 'life' as they needed it. They come in with little to no language foundation and the state says that ISD is failing because ASL is not a viable language and should be replaced by a communications system, a.k.a. Signed English or the Oral Education. What do politics know about being deaf? What do politics know about being a teacher of special education? What does politics know about being an education administrator?
I can get why there is a need for fiscal accountability; the question we should be asking ourselves as the November election gets closer, who are we going to choose? Who will understand what we as parents, teachers and administrators go through with a politicized education? Politicians have forgotten who they represent and they have forgotten the job we do everyday.
How much is education worth to a politician compared to a struggling student? Is it worth passing our students through testing, rather than giving them a life experience?
I once wanted to move to a local public school my senior year. My mother convinced me to stay because of the experience that I will gain through ISD that I would be unable to get at school. That much is true, the experience I have gained outweighed my education and opened my brain to matters far beyond education. Education is not the only source for learning, the politicians should consider backing out of education and let education deal with its own issues.
America is becoming so educated that ignorance will be a novelty. I will belong to the select few. ~Will Rogers
To Be Whole
Currently I am an ASL teacher at a local college and at an high school. I received my Masters in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. At home, I am an activist within the community, Northwest Indiana. My son is in first grade and my daughter goes to E.C.L.I.P.S.E. ASL Preschool. Change begins with you and change is effective with a team.