March 24, 2006

Walk the Line

I'm going to stick my nose in where it maybe doesn't belong, but, what's new? My kids have hopscotched through their school career and we've dodged several threatened strikes.

I don't remember this when I was a kid. Strikes were something the guys at Stelco did; our teachers didn't. I can recall exactly *one* time there was talk of it, and while my sister and I were rejoicing like they'd announced there may be a second Christmas, my father informed us we would be going to school at the cottage, where he also paid taxes. That's right. He threatened to take us up north and make us go to school with all those kids who dressed funny. We were inconsolable. The strike was averted. We were actually relieved.

I can only imagine the outrage being felt by college kids right now. Basic tuition has tripled since I was there, and higher learning is no lark, no excuse to party. I also recognize that class sizes have exploded, and more and more classes are being taught by contract hires.

Our kids deserve the best teachers available. Our teachers deserve earned tenure, stable recompense and benefits. Stop with this patchwork approach to education. We are effectively outsourcing a huge part of the entire learning process at the expense of the future. Outsourcing does not produce a foundation to build on. We need to get our heads out of our butts and start looking ahead.

We tell our kids they have to stay in school if they want to get anywhere. And then we give them an education system that shows them way too early exactly how the real world actually works.

Or doesn't.


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