Good evening. My name is Louis William Rose. Thank you for agreeing to hear me.
After a year of teaching high school as a non-education major, I have come to tell you why I will not be back.
If the definition of the word “high” means “exalted in quality or advanced in development”, it seems to me that high school should be quite different from elementary school. With that in mind I would like to say three things.
1. Students who are unable to read write, or figure should not be admitted into a high school. An elementary education used to fit a man for the trades, and a high school education prepared one for the business world. It is not because times have changed that this is no longer so, but because the quality of education has deteriorated. Those unable to read, write, or do basic math after eight years of elementary schooling should remain at the elementary level until they are ready to advance, or ready to take the GED. Failure to do this dilutes the quality and quantity of education offered at the high school level.
2. Students who cannot behave should not be admitted to high school. Gangsters, racists, and individuals who are violent, foul mouthed, or obviously unable to control their private passions are unwelcome in civic life and polite society. Why then do we welcome them into high school? Why must teachers feel threatened, and their classrooms disrupted? Why must other students be negatively influenced and deprived of a quality education? Students who behave outrageously should be sent home, not for a few days, but permanently.
3. High school teachers should receive enough time and resources to teach effectively. Teachers should not be expected to work sixty hours a week while only being paid for forty. Most teachers put up with this because they are fiercely dedicated; they love their work and their students. Nevertheless, there are a sizeable number who make the reasonable decision to only work the forty hours for which they are being paid. Unfortunately, if you do the math, you will see that this means that their students wind up with only two thirds of an education. You must lower the student teacher ratio per class and the number of classes per teacher.
This is my statement. I encourage you to be bold and to implement the solutions that I have suggested to you.