Who decided that the concept of middle school for children from ten to fourteen was a good idea? At the very time when children are most insecure, they are forced to leave a familiar environment where they know the teachers, their classmates, and the school to go to a new school in which they have to begin all over again.
At a time when children should be able to contribute to the school community by being leaders and top of the heap, they are made insignificant by being put at the bottom of the heap.
They are forced into a situation where they have to re-establish themselves with a group of new students, new teachers, new rules and lots of anxiety. At this most precarious stage of their development, physically, mentally and socially, the school system gives them a double whammy by casting them adrift.
Who decided that the K-8 school was an outmoded concept and children needed to be separated from younger children when they reach preadolescence? In the K-8 school, the older children were leaders the younger ones looked up to and wanted to emulate. The
K-8 school helped the older students by putting them on the student council and in general gave them opportunities to became responsible models for the younger ones. The school also crossed age lines and used older students to help younger ones to learn. Older students understood that they should not disappoint the younger ones by acting irresponsibly. It would be noticed because everyone knew them and had high expectations.
Who decided that middle school teachers could teach any subjects because they had a K-8 certification? If they are assigned to teach math, science or social studies, they do not need an extra certification in these subjects as do high school teachers. Many schools do not provide teachers with extra training when they make these assignments.
There are a lot more questions that come under the topic of “Who Decided?”. Who decided that the school year should consist of 180 days out of a possible 260 days?
Who decided that children should be segregated by chronological age rather than by other criteria such as: ability level, maturational level, learning style, to mention afew? Age probably is the least valid indicator of the range of possibilities of a group.
Who decided that there is only one way to teach a subject and that administrators are the best judge of what that method should be? The whole language approach to reading as opposed to phonics is one example. Instead of teachers being expert in several approaches, they must teach one approach, and if the child cannot learn that way, he fails. No consideration is given to the fact that children have different learning styles: Some are right brain learners, some are left. Some require a great deal of repetition and hands on experience, others do not. Some are auditory learners, others are visual. Some a slow to mature, others are not.
Who decided that administrators and school board members are better judges of what makes a teacher good than the teachers? Administrators and Boards give teachers life-time tenure then leave and the teachers and the school are left with the consequences of their ill-formed, often politically motivated, decisions.
Who decided that teachers are qualified to practice their profession with a few months of student teaching and no internship? At least three years internship under the guidance of experienced teachers should be required before a new teacher is left on her own in the classroom.
Who decided–but I am running out of space. You can add your own question now.