What’s next? Teaching them how to drive? Wait, we do that.

January 13, 2011 at 11:51 pm (Somewhat Serious)

Ah, the good old days...

My next blog post was supposed to be about my new love affair with red wine, but since that will always be a hot topic, I decided after hearing a news story today, that I had to bitch about discuss something else.

Today, I heard that the federal government has decided to attack the childhood obesity epidemic by overhauling school lunches. Great idea on the surface, right? The reality is, money that could be spent on books, technology and teachers will instead be diverted to adhering to the new standards. Wait, the feds have said that the will reimburse schools .06 per lunch. Sounds great, again. But if you’ve seen the inside of a super market, you know that overhauling the menu will cost a bit more than .06 per kid. Healthy food costs money, and unfortunately, crap is cheap, which is why schools have been forced to provide crap due to budget constraints.

Am I saying I want to have a bunch of tubby teens running around? Hell, no. I know first hand the costs of obesity, and believe me, the worst ones can’t be expressed in dollars and cents. What really gets me, is that schools are once again being called upon to do a job that should be done by the parents!!

You want to know a major reason why schools are failing at teaching the basics? Because we’re expected to be surrogate parents, not educational institutions. At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon, back when I was in school, our parents taught us about this crazy idea called responsibility of choice…I know, it’s amazing we didn’t all cause the cosmos to swallow itself whole with that load of horse shit. Now, schools are being held responsible for teaching kids how to eat. Am I the only one who thinks this is a little crazy here?

Schools now are expected to teach manners, social skills, proper behaviors (yes, they are different from social skills), driving, how to find a job, and any difficult subject parents want to hide their heads in the sand about (sex or drug education, anyone?), plus somehow teach students to be independent thinkers in ever-expanding classrooms that force the upright nail to be hammered down to keep an orderly environment. Not only do these additional “curricula” cost time, they also cost money; money that is siphoned away from the real items that help students learn–good teachers, relevant materials and access to technology.

So you want to see the US start to get back on top? Stop relying on the schools to do the parents’ job, and allow us to teach instead. It’s pretty simple, really. OK, actually, fixing our education system is anything but simple, I realize that. But until we start to believe in schools as places of academic learning once again, we have no right to be complaining about why our students are lagging behind the rest of the world.



  1. hoodyhoo said,

    I have to agree, it’s all just another part of the overprotective BS that’s ruining the next few generations. Back when I was in school, they fed us welfare cheese and pizza so greasy it could eat its way through a paper towel, AND WE WERE HAPPY TO HAVE IT! But then again, back then we also PLAYED OUTSIDE, so we had a chance to burn that crap off…

  2. Kate said,

    I’ve just had an alternative idea. What if, instead of offering school lunches for everyone, only provide lunches for those who fall under the low-income/poverty level and the occasional kid who forgets to bring lunch? That way, money spent on lunches can provide healthier lunches. Put the obesity issues back on the parents by making them responsible for providing their kids’ lunch.

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