From: Uncle Roger <>
Date: Wed May 13 20:21:16 1998

At 09:44 AM 5/13/98 -0400, you wrote:
> Personally, I believe the "computer literacy in schools is everything"
> movement is a result of inept teachers and a haywire NEA. Here in the

> Washington, D.C. area I have read reports of teachers pushing
> 'invented' spelling as a method to avoid hurting the challenged
> student's self esteem. Educators seem to think the student will

Ummm... I don't doubt someone came up with this, but I doubt that it is
widespread; If one teacher does it, the media pick it up and report it as
if everyone was doing it, and of course the public loves to think that all
teachers are idiots just goofing off until they can retire.

I think it's jealousy over this (imaginary) summer vacation.

Most teachers are extremely hard working, committed educators who put a lot
of their own time and money into their classes. My girlfriend (admittedly,
one of the most insane) arrives at school before 7am (everyday) and rarely
leaves before 5pm. She spends her evenings and weekends doing schoolwork.
She spends her summers planning the next year and building various
curriculum. And she works with the other teachers all the time, so she's
not alone.

The problem is partially a lack of funding for schools and very a lack of
adequate parenting. Rachel sent home some work for the kids to do with
their parents one time; she got one back where the father had written (on
both sides, in big, red letters) that his kid can't do such advanced work
(they'd been doing it in class all week) and that "I AM NOT A TEACHER".
With a father like that, it's a wonder that the kid knows how to go to the

There are other kids: one whose parents come to school at lunch time to
take him to the bathroom and feed him his lunch (first grade, no kidding),
and a kid who is almost completely blind, yet even after the social worker
took him to the eye doctor (with her own money) still doesn't have glasses.
 Kids whose parents beat them, who are being raised by grandparents because
their parents don't want them, kids who see people shot in real life, as
well as on TV. And there are kids who are taught to hate because of skin
color or religion, or whatever. Kids that are taught that the proper
response to a disagreement is hit. Kids that are ignored at home, left on
their own with a babysitter or nanny, or worse, to wander the neighborhood.
 Kids that are allowed, even encouraged, if it will shut them up, to watch
stuff on telly that even *I* won't watch.

Sure, there are bad teachers out there, just as there are bad mechanics,
programmers, doctors, etc. But most of them work harder than probably
anybody on this list, and probably for a lot less money.

But parents don't even take responsibility for checking out the teachers.
There are also different styles of teaching; you wouldn't drop your volvo
off at a Land Rover mechanic, would you? But most parents don't bother to
see (or ask) if a teacher's style is the best for their kids.

Most parents pay more attention to whether or not their kids have brushed
their teeth than whether or not they've done their homework.

Don't put the blame on the teachers without putting it on the parents as well.

> in software will correct them. What a cop out. I don't believe
> students should be introduced to computers (read: word
> processors/calculators) until the first year of high school after
> mastering basic reading, comprehension, writing and math skills.

Computers are a very valuable tool for teaching those very skills. To deny
kids access to them is to slow them down.

--------------------------------------------------------------------- O-

Uncle Roger "There is pleasure pure in being mad that none but madmen know."
Roger Louis Sinasohn & Associates
San Francisco, California
Received on Wed May 13 1998 - 20:21:16 BST

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