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<v Nonspeech Dialog>[Chattering in the hallways] <v Host>Most of us remember classrooms like this. <v Host>We recall the creaking desks and learning to diagram sentences. <v Host>The screech of chalk on blackboard and lectures about penmanship. <v Host>Those were our simple views of school during simpler times. <v Host>Our classroom was our universe. <v Host>Our teacher, the center of that universe. <v Host>Today, things are different. The child in the classroom is merely a part of a complex <v Host>system in which bureaucrats, more often than teachers, seem to be in charge. <v Host>Lawsuits, bond elections, teachers' strikes all our parts of the business of <v Host>education today. During this hour, we want to give you a look at this diverse system, <v Host>principally the teachers and students, but also the parents, administrators, elected <v Host>officials and others who make up this complex world of public education.
<v Susan Keener>Count them. 1. <v Students>2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. <v Susan Keener>Good. <v Host>What are today's classrooms like? Most striking are the varieties of teaching techniques <v Host>and subject matter. Students are less frequently conformed to a classroom norm. <v Host>More often, the classroom changes to meet the students needs. <v Host>This begins at the earliest stages. <v Host>Partly due to diminished reinforcement in the children's homes, schools are concentrating <v Host>earlier and more intensively on the basic skills children will need as they <v Host>progressed through school. <v Susan Keener>We're starting them out earlier on the basics, things that we got as children in first <v Susan Keener>grade. We now are having in prekindergarten with four year olds. <v Susan Keener>Take a piece of paper and sit down. <v Susan Keener>We're starting on the basic skills we find the children that do not succeed are those <v Susan Keener>that don't know their alphabet, their numbers, just the bare basic numbers
<v Susan Keener>by sixth grade. So we're starting them out at 4 as opposed to 7 <v Susan Keener>on those basic learning skills. <v Nonspeech Dialog>[Students play in front of the camera, interacting with cameraperson]. <v Host>Traditional academic disciplines are not always enough. <v Host>What skills does a student need to be able to compete in the job market? <v Host>Specialized vocational training, coupled with standard classroom requirements, <v Host>is designed to make the public school graduate a marketable commodity. <v Don Boardman>They can go out in the job market and they can compete with <v Don Boardman>other personnel that's, that's equally qualified, same as a student. <v Don Boardman>In other words, when he goes out to the employer, if the employer ask him if he has <v Don Boardman>experience, he can tell him that, yes, he does. <v Don Boardman>The majority of these students seem to really enjoy. <v Don Boardman>And when they get into the actual performing in something they like,
<v Don Boardman>they really get into it and they perform very well. <v Don Boardman>What we did. What do we do? <v Don Boardman> <v Host>Magnet schools draw students from throughout the school system and are designed to <v Host>entice students to remain in the public schools. <v Host>The Arts Magnet School offers a wide range of intensive training in the arts. <v Host>This is 1 element in the competition between public and private schools for the most <v Host>talented students. <v Darrell Chambers>We think the best thing about a program like the Arts Magnet High School is
<v Darrell Chambers>atmosphere. We sell a very creative atmosphere here, one where <v Darrell Chambers>students have the opportunity to work, to <v Darrell Chambers>be creative, to get along with one another, to learn about one another, and to learn <v Darrell Chambers>about the arts. We stress the academic part of it very seriously, <v Darrell Chambers>along with the arts. But we give them the opportunity to use the things that they <v Darrell Chambers>do well in the arts to help them within their academic program also. <v Darrell Chambers>It's a place of mutual respect. <v Darrell Chambers>Students learn about one another. <v Darrell Chambers>They learn about the all the art forms. <v Darrell Chambers>And they learn to be very respectful of the the <v Darrell Chambers>work that it takes to be successful in a fine arts area. <v Painting teacher>Then after you've done a plane in a wash, then you shouldn't paint another one
<v Painting teacher>immediately next to it while its wet because the color will come right up next to that <v Painting teacher>line, it'll bleed into the next plane. <v Darrell Chambers>We're very realistic about our career training. <v Darrell Chambers>We're called a career development center. <v Darrell Chambers>And yet there's not really that many opportunities for all of our students <v Darrell Chambers>to go right into a job related field in in the fine arts. <v Darrell Chambers>In fact, some of our best students, when they go to college, major in engineering <v Darrell Chambers>or science, or one of the areas like that rather than going into a fine arts area. <v Darrell Chambers>But they will always have the appreciation and they'll always be able to enjoy the fine <v Darrell Chambers>arts if they weren't here.
<v Host>Not all the changes in the classroom have been generated within the school system. <v Host>Since 1954, public schools have faced the task <v Host>of ensuring a racial mix among students. <v Host>The nature of the classroom has become an issue for the courtroom. <v Host>Desegregation continues to be a tortuous process. <v Host>Passions run high and education itself can suffer. <v Host>Bussing has become a matter of politics, not merely transportation. <v Host>School system's resources can be drained while attempting to racially balance <v Host>student populations. <v Harvey Wingo>The issue in the school desegregation cases is whether or not <v Harvey Wingo>separate schools for the different races <v Harvey Wingo>violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. <v Ernest Haywood>I think desegregation will come. <v Ernest Haywood>It may plod along to some extent, but I think it will come about anyway. <v Ernest Haywood>I think with changes in attitudes <v Ernest Haywood>as to race. We'll get there eventually.
<v Ernest Haywood>I think we'll get there much faster in some areas than in others, <v Ernest Haywood>some areas of the country. <v Harvey Wingo>The constitutional question is whether or not a particular school system <v Harvey Wingo>is a dual system that is segregating the races <v Harvey Wingo>in the schools. <v Harvey Wingo>If it is a dual school system and the dual system as a result of governmental action, <v Harvey Wingo>then there's a constitutional violation, as I said. <v Harvey Wingo>The courts have a duty to remedy that violation. <v Ernest Haywood>I think bussing has proved to be effective, effective <v Ernest Haywood>in moving people from 1 area to another to get a desegregated situation <v Ernest Haywood>when the housing patterns aren't really desegregated. <v Linus Wright>What has happened in the last 25 years that school districts have literally concern <v Linus Wright>at least half of their time in responding to judges <v Linus Wright>needs, federal court needs, federal government requirements, <v Linus Wright>state mandates that they've had a little time left to produce
<v Linus Wright>a quality product that is an educated child. <v Harvey Wingo>The courts not only have a right, but they have a duty to involve <v Harvey Wingo>themselves. If the states and the subordinate governmental <v Harvey Wingo>agencies such as the local district boards or- have <v Harvey Wingo>violated the Constitution. They must step in and provide a remedy for the <v Harvey Wingo>constitutional violation. <v Linus Wright>I feel that eventually the courts are going to get out of education. <v Linus Wright>They've got to. <v Harvey Wingo>I don't think the courts are attempting to run the school system, but they are attempting <v Harvey Wingo>to ensure that all of the children receive <v Harvey Wingo>the benefits of their constitutional rights. <v Ernest Haywood>I think it's the fear that causes white flight, white avoidance. <v Ernest Haywood>I think that once you have stability to where the litigation <v Ernest Haywood>has ended and people know where will be going to school, and once they find out <v Ernest Haywood>that sitting in a class that may be half Black and half white or
<v Ernest Haywood>or a third Chicano and a quarter Black is <v Ernest Haywood>not bad. Once they realize that through experience, then I <v Ernest Haywood>think we'll we'll wind up with the diminishing of white flight. <v Patty Eberstein>I think that they have to do away with bussing and they have to restore <v Patty Eberstein>the confidence of the middle class people who <v Patty Eberstein>are you know so interested in education for their children. <v Unnamed student>I don't, I don't like the bussing, really. <v Nonspeech Dialog>[Chatter in a Spanish speaking class]. <v Unnamed Spanish speaking teacher 1>?inaudible? ¿Por qué no está comiendo? <v Unnamed Spanish speaking student 1>No le gustan las galletas. <v Unnamed Spanish speaking teacher 1>A mí no creo eso. Mira otra vez el dibujo. ¿Por qué no está comiendo? <v Unnamed Spanish speaking student 2>EI dragón no le dan. <v Unnamed Spanish speaking teacher 1>El dra- El- ¡Sí! El dragón no le dan las galletas. No más tiene ?inaudible? <v Host> In many cities, the growing Spanish speaking population poses
<v Host>new difficulties for educators. <v Host>Courts have ordered bilingual teaching programs that cost logistics and teaching <v Host>techniques involved in this process have proved to be great burdens on school systems. <v Host>The results, no one seems sure as yet. <v Unnamed Spanish speaking teacher 2>Mira el título en la parte superior de la página. <v Unnamed Spanish speaking teacher 2>Carmen, tú compartir ?inaudible? con ella? ¿Por qué tú no tienes tu cuaderno? ¿Está en la casa? ¿O ?inaudible?? <v Mary Roberts>I think it is working. I think that it allows the child who's dominant <v Mary Roberts>in our particular, particular situation in Spanish to start learning immediately <v Mary Roberts>in his dominant language. <v Mary Roberts>And I think that when we have teachers that are proficient in that language, <v Mary Roberts>that the child picks up immediately on skills that are important <v Mary Roberts>developmentally, no matter what language it's in. <v Delia Granado>It is 3 o'clock. <v Students>It is 3 o'clock.
<v Delia Granado>Si miramos a numero 2. It is 2 o'clock. <v Students>It is 2 o'clock. <v Delia Granado>Alright, leer ?inaudible? preguntas. <v Delia Granado>The main thrust is to get them into English reading. <v Delia Granado>And what we do is teach them oral English and to read in Spanish. <v Delia Granado>But basically we want them to go in to English as fast as we can. <v Mary Roberts>We do want them to pick up skills that are going to <v Mary Roberts>transfer into English as soon as possible. <v Mary Roberts>And we encourage the transition to happen as quickly as it can <v Mary Roberts>happen, because we do feel that the English is their- going to have to be their dominant <v Mary Roberts>language in this country and they do have to be proficient in it. <v Unnamed Spanish speaking student 3>Las, las vamos a ser muy altas. Ya ?inaudible? teacher? <v Victor Bonilla> Let's teach children to speak English. <v Victor Bonilla>We compete in English.
<v Victor Bonilla>And as long as we perpetuate the Spanish, we're going to be behind. <v Victor Bonilla>We have a high rate of low achievers, high, high rate of drop out. <v Victor Bonilla>You name it, the Mexican American has it. <v Delia Granado>De la vuelta a la página 75. <v Delia Granado>A lot of times the parents are not well informed and says they want their <v Delia Granado>students to read English. They feel that they should go right into English, but they <v Delia Granado>don't know that that's going to hinder them. <v Delia Granado>It'll slow them down. Whereas if they're taught every area <v Delia Granado>in the dominant language that they know, it'll make it easier for them to make <v Delia Granado>the transition. And once we have talked to our parents and <v Delia Granado>get them to understand what we're doing there. <v Delia Granado>They're pleased and they see the progress the students are doing.
<v Linus Wright>Bilingual education and its present requirements is going to <v Linus Wright>be almost an impossible task to achieve with the level of <v Linus Wright>qualified teachers available in the various languages, Hispanic being <v Linus Wright>the predominant language. But most school districts have less than half of the number <v Linus Wright>of qualified teachers they need for bilingual education. <v Mary Roberts>We find in most of our children already, if they began with us in kindergarten, <v Mary Roberts>or first grade, for the most part, we anticipate the transition can <v Mary Roberts>happen in the third grade or the end of the third grade, so that when they leave this <v Mary Roberts>particular school to go, to go to the intermediate school, that <v Mary Roberts>we go pretty well they can go into an all English program.
<v Host>As part of the expanding mandate of public education, school systems often <v Host>must find ways to integrate physically and mentally handicapped students into the <v Host>educational mainstream. <v Host>It is not unusual for a large school district to spend tens of millions of <v Host>dollars in developing special education programs. <v Host>Once again, there is debate about whether this is part of the business of education. <v Patti Rea>Good boy. Walk, walk, walk, walk. Good boy. You walked. <v Patti Rea>Again? Our service to these children is very, very important. <v Patti Rea>Without that, many of them would stay home day in and day out and really learn <v Patti Rea>very few things. It's a new field for a lot of these children. <v Patti Rea>So in a sense, I guess it really is difficult at first, but things <v Patti Rea>are working out and we're getting more and more efficient. <v Patti Rea>So I think it's really becoming positive.
<v Linus Wright>Special education has in recent years provided a real financial <v Linus Wright>drag on public education. <v Linus Wright>Yet federal laws said you must provide services for those young people, <v Linus Wright>even though it might mean you have to take it away from some other service. <v Patti Rea>And down, down, down. Down. Look! Down, down. Good. <v Patti Rea>We're seeing great progress in some of the children and pleased families and <v Patti Rea>pleased teachers. We're making more and more progress with severely handicapped <v Patti Rea>children. We're starting to learn more about communication skills for them, and <v Patti Rea>that's really my main interest. And I think that I'd like to see more work done there. <v Linus Wright>Most people feel that many of the services we provide, particularly for the multiply <v Linus Wright>handicapped, are not educational but are medical and do not belong in <v Linus Wright>the public education arena. <v Linus Wright>That's something that's going to have to be re-addressed by the legislature and by the
<v Linus Wright>federal government because that tremendous burden has been placed on public <v Linus Wright>schools and they're not equipped to handle it. <v Patti Rea>It's the most rewarding thing I've ever done. <v Patti Rea>I started out to be a history teacher in high school, and when I was exposed <v Patti Rea>to this field, I just decided that it was much more rewarding. <v Patti Rea>Walk, walk, walk. Good boy. That's nice. <v Patti Rea>Finished. Finished. <v Host>Parents watch these changes with increasing dismay. <v Host>Many of them see the public schools as overindulging a social and educational <v Host>experimentation with too little emphasis on quality or on maintaining <v Host>neighborhood schools. <v Patty Eberstein>We have taken the children out of public schools because the school system in our area <v Patty Eberstein>has failed to meet the needs of what I consider the basic needs <v Patty Eberstein>of our children. <v John Johnson>The public education system is doing an adequate job.
<v John Johnson>Nothing excellent but adequate, and it could be improved of course. <v Patty Eberstein>Our wants and wishes were totally ignored. <v Patty Eberstein>They are going to close the schools. We no longer have neighborhood schools. <v John Johnson>I think the basic content of education could be improved. <v John Johnson>The subject matter itself could be emphasized more. <v John Johnson>That's the way I think it could be improved. And also the competency of the teachers <v John Johnson>could be more adequately policed or evaluated. <v Patty Eberstein>If bussing has hurt this or helped it, I'm not really <v Patty Eberstein>certain. But all I know is that parents have pulled their children out of public schools <v Patty Eberstein>right and left. <v Phyllis Johnson>I think I'm just a little bit depressed about it as I see how it's going. <v Phyllis Johnson>If people would simply stay in there and keep their children <v Phyllis Johnson>in public education. It certainly would help, but I'm just a little depressed about <v Phyllis Johnson>it. <v Patty Eberstein>The very people that these school systems look to for support, to raise money, <v Patty Eberstein>the voters that the intelligent, the the people that are
<v Patty Eberstein>are well-informed and who do vote soon, they will not vote <v Patty Eberstein>for these big bond issues for education. <v Patty Eberstein>Why should they? <v Host>Administrators and teachers join in the debate about the importance of parents <v Host>to the schools. <v Linus Wright>Parents' role in education has changed significantly in the last several years. <v Linus Wright>And as we have observed that change, we've also observed a <v Linus Wright>deterioration in the public school system. <v Linus Wright>Part of that is because the change of role of parents in society and <v Linus Wright>a large number of single parent families that have little or no time to support the <v Linus Wright>public education system. <v Linus Wright>Part of it has been a whole changing of values in the family structure. <v Linus Wright>And as we have observed, a smaller percent of parents participate, <v Linus Wright>participating in the public schools. <v Linus Wright>We've seen a change in attitude of teachers and and students. <v Beth Randall>More parents are working at night. <v Beth Randall>I have to a lot of parents work even double shifts, you know, to make ends meet now. <v Beth Randall>So I think it is hard to get parents involved.
<v Beth Randall>But if we can get more parent volunteers to come out during the day. <v Beth Randall>Fathers and mothers. And we can get more parents to come and observe <v Beth Randall>their children. Sometimes that makes all the difference in the world as far as <v Beth Randall>how their children do is if- if they feel their parents are participating. <v Charlyn Bacon>In our situation, the 4th through 6th graders are bussed out of the neighborhood <v Charlyn Bacon>for integration purposes. <v Charlyn Bacon>And although the situation has <v Charlyn Bacon>the school to which they are bussed has been good, the parent per- the parent <v Charlyn Bacon>involvement there is not what it is in the neighborhood. <v Charlyn Bacon>My child is bussed to a 4th through 6th school
<v Charlyn Bacon>and she's getting a terrific education. <v Charlyn Bacon>But I am not there as I am in the neighborhood school. <v Charlyn Bacon>I am not physically a presence very often at her school <v Charlyn Bacon>and I think parental involvement is very, very important. <v Jan Wilson>Well, stop busing. I think that's 1 thing that really has hurt the education <v Jan Wilson>system. There needs to be a way, a better way of teaching these kids <v Jan Wilson>and getting good teachers and close to them where I have students that I have <v Jan Wilson>no communication with parents at home because they're so far away. <v Jan Wilson>And this is it. The parents have to work with teachers to help their children. <v Beth Randall>There are few parents that still seem to be uninvolved with <v Beth Randall>their children. They think the school is- that their education should stupid be at
<v Beth Randall>school, not at home. I think that's a mistake. <v Linus Wright>We encourage parent participation and at best, we get <v Linus Wright>probably a 4 or 5 percent response, which is not sufficient to really represent <v Linus Wright>the views of the community. <v PTA Announcer>Present the colors. <v PTA Announcer>Please stand. <v Nonspeech Dialog>[Crowd starts saying the Pledge of Allegiance] <v Host>Parent teacher associations remain traditional mechanisms for parents to make <v Host>their views known to school officials. <v Host>Their deliberations might have no lasting impact on school system administration, <v Host>but PTA do provide opportunities for face to face debate. <v Brenda Tillman>To respond. I feel like people come to me and tell me that they don't think Mr. Chairman <v Brenda Tillman>is doing his job. So I'm going to ask you what you think Mr. Chapman's job is, <v Brenda Tillman>and they come to me and they say, well, I don't think so- this so-and-so teacher is doing
<v Brenda Tillman>a very good job teaching my child. <v Brenda Tillman>I'm going to ask you what you think your child's teacher's job is. <v Brenda Tillman>So then the parents tell me that they think you ought to use the paddle more. <v Brenda Tillman>Do you think that he should use a paddle more or do you think he's used it about enough <v Brenda Tillman>now? <v Brenda Tillman>How many of y'all believe in more discipline? <v Brenda Tillman>How many of you believe in less discipline? <v Brenda Tillman>How many of you think it's all right the way it is right now? <v Dvon Chapman>May I respond? <v Brenda Tillman>Yes, sir. Come up here. <v Dvon Chapman>I think I should use the paddle more on somebody else's kids, but not <v Dvon Chapman>on theirs. That's usually the way that goes. <v Brenda Tillman>Amen. <v Dvon Chapman>I'll say one thing. There's hardly a day goes by that I don't paddle somebody. <v Dvon Chapman>You know, ?inaudible? <v Dvon Chapman>I just give them what they need. <v Dvon Chapman>?inaudible? <v Dvon Chapman>if they're mine or yours. I treat them just like I would if they were mine. <v Dvon Chapman>I think they need a spanking, they get it.
<v Dvon Chapman>A lot of parents don't like that. <v Dvon Chapman>They say, I don't want you spanking my child. <v Dvon Chapman>Well, it's either that or sending home if he doesn't behave because <v Dvon Chapman>we're going to have school. And I won't let 1 or 2 disrupt the learning process <v Dvon Chapman>of the other children in the school. <v PTA Speaker>But he's a good principal, so he has to do his job the best way he can. <v PTA Speaker>Now, that's my opinion and I vote for him. <v PTA Speaker>So everybody else can say something if you don't agree <v PTA Speaker>with it. But we hope he is doing all the things that they say. <v PTA Speaker>You are making sure the toilets are clean, okay? <v PTA Speaker>That's- wwell you have to make sure of that. <v PTA Speaker>If you are doing that then you are doing a good job. <v School administrator>Take those funds and put it into a-. <v Host>Governance of a school system has become increasingly complex. <v Host>A massive public education bureaucracy that combines professional administrators
<v Host>and elected policymakers tries to assemble the complicated jigsaw puzzle <v Host>of court orders, budgetary constraints and personnel problems. <v Host>And lest they be forgotten, the educational needs of the children. <v Host>The process often is highly political. <v Host>Administrators find themselves trying to satisfy conflicting demands <v Host>from various constituencies. <v School board speaker>No matter how large or how small a school is, that each school <v School board speaker>needs to have somebody that is in charge and that somebody should <v School board speaker>be an educator and not a secretary. <v John Martin>That control of education has got to be given back to the people, <v John Martin>out of the courts and out of the bureaucracies and the people have got to feel <v John Martin>responsible for it and people got to feel proud of it. <v John Martin>The people who got to feel committed to it or are we just we're not doing anything <v John Martin>except treading water at best. <v Kathlyn Gilliam>The major question is whether or not this is where we want to <v Kathlyn Gilliam>spend our money. <v Linus Wright>As a general rule, all boards of education in large cities have become far
<v Linus Wright>too political. <v John Martin>Does somebody have a motion we not do it so we can be in order. <v John Martin>I mean, Richard, if you'd have brought this up earlier is we could've been in order. <v John Martin>?inaudible? Does somebody want to move? <v Maria Carillo>The board is supposed <v Maria Carillo>to be accountable to the community, but whether it is or not is another matter. <v Maria Carillo>It's accountable to the segment of the community that elected that particular member <v Maria Carillo>or that particular board. And oftentimes that is the only <v Maria Carillo>segment of the community that the board members are concerned with. <v Maria Carillo>Members of the community can have an impact on how the board operates. <v Maria Carillo>If the members that wish to have an impact are number 1 homeowners, <v Maria Carillo>taxpayers and voters. <v School board speaker 2>I assured the board, it will be a ?inaudible? <v School board speaker 2>Structure. ?inaudible? <v School board speaker 2>Necessary if we're going to find 12 million dollar shortfall that we have to ?inaudible? <v School board speaker 2>To be available to discuss it with you tomorrow. <v John Wiley Price>The school board is not adequately representative of the community to <v John Wiley Price>which they are elected to govern, primarily because minority citizens, citizens,
<v John Wiley Price>according to the Department of Census, has the majority of their <v John Wiley Price>residents under the age of 18. We have more than the Anglo community. <v John Wiley Price>So therefore we have a lot more people in the school system. <v Kathlyn Gilliam>Now, you can sit here and try to play some games, Mr. Martin. <v Kathlyn Gilliam>But I am not interested in your games. <v Unnamed teacher>And the activity that is set for for you today was <v Unnamed teacher>to issue textbooks and discuss the textbook intro. Now when we say the word intro, what- <v Host>While the political battles are being fought, teachers keep trying to do their jobs. <v Host>Teachers usually are underpaid and they often find themselves overwhelmed by bureaucratic <v Host>nonsense. And they tend to be taken for granted by students and parents. <v Host>But it is the teacher more than anyone else in the school system who determines <v Host>the quality of the product of public education. <v Host>Where are new teachers to be found? <v Host>How can their working environment be improved?
<v Host>What is happening in the classroom today? <v Linus Wright>Teaching profession probably is its lowest ebb since post-World War Two, <v Linus Wright>because we have now the problem, the most critical shortage in special <v Linus Wright>areas like math teachers, science teachers, bilingual education teachers, special <v Linus Wright>education teachers. And then more than anything else, we're receiving <v Linus Wright>in the teaching profession, probably the lowest quality of candidates that we've <v Linus Wright>ever received. Primarily because in the past, females made <v Linus Wright>up 80 percent of the teaching profession, and that was the only profession they could go <v Linus Wright>in so we got the very best, the cream of the crop. <v Harley Hiscox>Teachers are not being treated fairly. They're not receiving good salaries for what they <v Harley Hiscox>do and for their preparation. And once they get into the classroom, they're not being <v Harley Hiscox>given the chance to teach. <v Kathy Gerber>The main reason I want to be a teacher is because I love children and I want to be able <v Kathy Gerber>to teach them more than they're learning these days. <v Liz Gay>Teaching is something that I've always wanted to go into.
<v Liz Gay>I've always loved children and being around them all my life. <v Liz Gay>And I think that being a teacher myself, I can possess a lot of qualities <v Liz Gay>that a teacher needs to give to the students to make them feel comfortable and at <v Liz Gay>home in their classroom environment. <v Harley Hiscox>They face a lack of support, a lack of supplies, overcrowding. <v Harley Hiscox>They don't they don't have the respect and the dignity that they need to make their job <v Harley Hiscox>exciting. And consequently, since they don't get money either, it's very difficult <v Harley Hiscox>to to hold them as teachers. <v Linus Wright>And so we're hurt from 2 extremes, or really 3. <v Linus Wright>1, shortage of even going into the College of Education <v Linus Wright>primarily because of money. <v Linus Wright>Secondly, because we're competing with business and industry in other fields. <v Linus Wright>And third, just a lack of shortage in critical areas. <v Linus Wright>So we have a difficult task ahead in the teaching profession. <v Kathy Gerber>My main reservation about teaching is the pay because teachers not only <v Kathy Gerber>are teaching the kids, but they're being a mother and a care for everything that they're
<v Kathy Gerber>doing. <v Liz Gay>And I hope that it's always going to be a you know, the teacher is a warm <v Liz Gay>person for the students to come to. <v Liz Gay>And, you know, I hope it pretty much remains the same as long if they can get a little <v Liz Gay>bit more creativeness in it. <v Linus Wright>I've struggled with a question and trying to find out a reasonable <v Linus Wright>way that in good conscience that I could counsel young people in the teaching profession <v Linus Wright>when now it offers the lowest pay. <v Linus Wright>So you have to appeal to people's good sense of responsibility <v Linus Wright>that it is a profession that provides service, that hopefully the salaries will <v Linus Wright>increase and improve, and that our whole system of government and a whole free enterprise <v Linus Wright>system, our democracy, depends on an education system, an educated <v Linus Wright>people, and therefore we must try to appeal to young people to come into the teaching <v Linus Wright>profession. And there are those who love it just for the sheer ability of <v Linus Wright>loving and serving people. <v Linus Wright>But we're going to have to do more than that. We're going to have to increase the
<v Linus Wright>salaries for teachers to professional level. <v Harley Hiscox>The most important issue, I think, on the on the agenda is that what happens when the <v Harley Hiscox>student and the teacher meet? <v Harley Hiscox>There has to be an environment in which education can take place. <v Harley Hiscox>The basic function above all other functions for the union is to ensure that that <v Harley Hiscox>environment is conducive to good education. <v John Bryant>There are more powerful interest groups and more well financed interest groups <v John Bryant>that come and make a claim on the state budget before <v John Bryant>we ever get to the teachers who, with their lack of ability to give large <v John Bryant>campaign contributions are placed at the end of the line. <v Harley Hiscox>Well, somebody's got to protect the teacher. Somebody has got to look out for the <v Harley Hiscox>professional interests of the teacher. The politicians aren't doing it. <v Harley Hiscox>School board members aren't doing it. <v Harley Hiscox>The bureaucrats in the school system are not doing it. <v Harley Hiscox>And so who's going to look out after the teacher and unless they look out for themselves, <v Harley Hiscox>and the only way they can do that is by banding together. <v Marca Lee Bircher>But you learn. That's when learning takes place, like those tests you get back that you <v Marca Lee Bircher>hate. Maybe someone had the bad grades on it.
<v Marca Lee Bircher>What did you learn from. <v Marca Lee Bircher>You've got to think about the word. Think. <v Sandi Johnson>I love to teach. That's why I'm here. <v Sandi Johnson>I love teaching, I love my students and I would recommend it, <v Sandi Johnson>especially if you like to see faces light up when they learn something. <v Sandi Johnson>I mean, it's frustrating that sometimes they're so, you know, so confused <v Sandi Johnson>and then all of a sudden something snaps and that little light bulb goes on and it's <v Sandi Johnson>real, really you know good for me. <v Sandi Johnson>Makes me feel good. <v Marca Lee Bircher>I teach because I love kids and I enjoy teaching. <v Marca Lee Bircher>Now I think both of those are necessary in order to do well and to <v Marca Lee Bircher>feel good and to spend the amount of time you have to spend in this business. <v Marca Lee Bircher>You do it because you love the kids and because you love what you're doing. <v Roddy McGinnis>I feel like the status of of teachers is really diminished in <v Roddy McGinnis>recent years. <v Pam Brannon>Why? <v Roddy McGinnis>Oh, I don't know, just a general perception, I guess. <v Roddy McGinnis>From, from the media you know there's this this whole idea of, well, we've got a bunch of
<v Roddy McGinnis>idiots, teach-. <v Timothy Seibles>Teaching other idiots. <v Roddy McGinnis>They can't do anything. <v Pam Brannon>Do you think that these kids come to school half of them can't read and they have <v Pam Brannon>a diminished view of the teacher because of the media? <v Roddy McGinnis>No. Well, I don't- It just it was just something this brought on that I've been talking <v Roddy McGinnis>to parents that I've noticed. <v Roddy McGinnis>They seem to- I'm not really sure what they think the teacher is, but <v Roddy McGinnis>I don't know. I just, I just sense from parents that I've talked to their, <v Roddy McGinnis>their feelings toward the teacher. They feel that teachers are not that important <v Roddy McGinnis>or is uneducated or is a fool or something like that. <v Roddy McGinnis>That's that's the impression I've gotten. <v Timothy Seibles>I think ?inaudible? thing from the media, I do think the kids, a lot of kids may not <v Timothy Seibles>get some very deep understanding of what the teaching profession, the- its <v Timothy Seibles>weaknesses and strengths or whether we're brilliant or not. <v Timothy Seibles>But I think the kids do know we don't make that much money, and money is what talks to <v Timothy Seibles>the kids, because they think, why are you a teacher, I'd never be a teacher. <v Timothy Seibles>You can't make money teaching. They do know that from the media.
<v Timothy Seibles>And so they do know. And I think that diminishes their respect for us because money is <v Timothy Seibles>what is respected, not ideas, not the capacity to know a verb or a noun. <v Timothy Seibles>It's that notion of knowing you know, your bank book is, you know, this big <v Timothy Seibles>and contains so many thousands of dollars and so on. <v Timothy Seibles>I was just talking to a kid a minute ago about this, matter of fact. He said3 my fathers <v Timothy Seibles>make 3000 dollars a month. I said, he said, do you make that? <v Timothy Seibles>I said, not hardly. Well why don't you do something you can make more money. <v Timothy Seibles>Then of course, ?inaudible? <v Roddy McGinnis>I'll go along with that because I run into small friends from college, <v Roddy McGinnis>you know? Hey, what are you doing now? I'm teaching high school. <v Roddy McGinnis>Yeah. Right. We'll see you later. <v Linda Budesa>First of all, get rid somehow. <v Linda Budesa>Get rid of those teachers that are only here for the salary. <v Linda Budesa>We need teachers in here that care and don't don't care about salary. <v Linda Budesa>I'm here. I'm very happy. <v Linda Budesa>I'm happy being here. I don't care about the salary right now. <v Linda Budesa>It may change tomorrow. It may change next year. <v Linda Budesa>But right now, we need to get rid of those that are here for just that paycheck.
<v Timothy Seibles>But I think realistically, though, if we are to draw the best minds or <v Timothy Seibles>some of the best minds toward the teaching profession, we have to pay him. <v Timothy Seibles>Because my roommate started with Texas Instruments at 30,000 a year. <v Timothy Seibles>And when I first was here, I think it was 8. <v Timothy Seibles>You know, he's living in a condominium, you know, and realistically, people aren't going <v Timothy Seibles>to be non materialistic. Not in America, probably not in the Western Hemisphere. <v Timothy Seibles>So we'll have to compete somewhat. <v Colleen Kelley>Because you talk to people that are your friends, people that understand the situation, <v Colleen Kelley>they'll say, yes, what is more important than educating the children that are going to <v Colleen Kelley>grow up and then be taking on the jobs and other responsibilities. <v Colleen Kelley>And when society thinks that it's more important to pay thousands of dollars <v Colleen Kelley>to someone who perhaps does an hour's worth of work on Sunday afternoon <v Colleen Kelley>or something, great. <v Timothy Seibles>Exactly. <v Colleen Kelley>And that's you know where our principles. <v Timothy Seibles>We're talking millions of dollars for guys who are hitting baseball. <v Timothy Seibles>And you couldn't find a teacher anywhere that made a 50,000 a year. <v Colleen Kelley>I'm not saying that those occupations aren't needed, either. <v Timothy Seibles>No I see what you're talking about, the priorities are so completely screwed up. <v Colleen Kelley>The priorities are screwed. <v Pam Brannon>I think they ought to pass a law that no coach teaches a content area class.
<v Timothy Seibles>I agree. <v Pam Brannon>Another way to improve education. <v Linda Budesa>Just let them be coaches, that's all. <v Interviewer>What do you like best about your teachers? <v Unnamed student>They dress up good. <v Unnamed student>I like them. They're pretty. <v Host>Going to school is a day to day matter. <v Host>Students constantly discover new challenges, things they like or dislike. <v Host>And new avenues to the future. <v Host>School is a mix of the traditional and the innovative, formal classroom disciplines, <v Host>and extracurricular activities. <v Host>It is this mix that creates a child's education. <v Unnamed English teacher>Leotard. <v Spelling student 1>L-E-A-T-A-R-D-E. <v Unnamed English teacher>Leotard. <v Spelling student 2>Leotard, L-E-A-T-A-R-D.
<v Unnamed English teacher>Leotard. <v Spelling student 3>Leotard, L-E-A-T-A-R-D-E. <v Unnamed English teacher>Leotard. <v Nonspeech Dialog>[High school choir singing "New York, New York"]
<v LaDaska Bradley>Well, I'm learning more, you know, <v LaDaska Bradley>this get me ready for college you know because I want to go to college. <v LaDaska Bradley>It's getting me ready for the <v LaDaska Bradley>things I want to do, want to be. <v unnamed mythology student>Permission. So he went out. <v unnamed mythology student>And he sailed the black sail and he said that, you know, if he came back victorious, <v unnamed mythology student>he would wear- he would put up a white sail. <v unnamed mythology student>So he went over there. And when he got to Crete, he would <v unnamed mythology student>he fell in love with Minos's daughter ?inaudible?. <v unnamed mythology student>And she wanted to not for him, no one knew that he was going to kill <v unnamed mythology student>the Minotaur, so, so she wanted to free him.
<v unnamed mythology student>So she went to Dedalus and he told her that she should carry a string. <v Nonspeech Dialog>[Kids interacting with cameraman]. <v Spelling student 4>T-R-E-D-E. <v Unnamed English teacher>No, leotard. <v Spelling student 5>L-E-A-T-A-R-D. <v Unnamed English teacher>Leotard. <v Spelling student 6>L-E-A-T-A-R-D-E. <v Unnamed English teacher>Leotard. <v Spelling student 7>L-E-T-A-R-D. <v Linus Wright>The problem is we're receiving a student in a high school reading at a <v Linus Wright>2nd, 3rd, 4th grade level and then offering them a curriculum which for 10th, 11th or <v Linus Wright>12th grade level and then very little they can comprehend in a curriculum <v Linus Wright>like that. <v Pam Brannon>All right. Let's look and see what we come up with for finance. <v Pam Brannon>Okay. I think we have to start with the whole paragraph rather than the
<v Pam Brannon>sentence saying simply because you get a better feeling <v Pam Brannon>for what the author is telling you about Madam- Madame Wassail. <v Pam Brannon>She was simple. Not being able to adorn herself. <v Pam Brannon>But she was unhappy as one out of her class. <v Pam Brannon>For women belong to no caste, no race, their grace, <v Pam Brannon>their beauty and their charm, serving them in the place of birth <v Pam Brannon>and family, their inborn finesse, <v Pam Brannon>their instinctive elegance, their suppleness of wit are their <v Pam Brannon>only aristocracy, making some daughters of the people the equal <v Pam Brannon>of great ladies. Now. <v Linus Wright>The problem with allowing young people to reach a high school level and still being <v Linus Wright>functionally illiterate as almost a sin, because it very little you can do <v Linus Wright>with them once they reach that level, unless you can instruct them on a one on one basis, <v Linus Wright>which is impossible financially. <v Pam Brannon>We had when I was growing up, I would've been mortified to go
<v Pam Brannon>into class and not have my homework, but I was taught that it was important. <v Pam Brannon>A lot of our kids were not taught that it's important. They think nothing about failing a <v Pam Brannon>class or not having their homework done, of missing, <v Pam Brannon>missing school. They miss school all the time. <v Unnamed English teacher>Leotard. <v Spelling student 7>L-E-A-R-D-T-R. <v Unnamed English teacher>You're not listening to your friends spell it ?inaudible? Leotard. <v Spelling student 8>Leotard, L-I-L-D-T-A-R. <v Unnamed English teacher>Leotard. <v Spelling student 9> L-E-A-R-D-T
<v Colleen Kelley>I think that our teachers are becoming more aware of the needs of the students and <v Colleen Kelley>they're realizing that they don't, as Tim said, have to go into a profession <v Colleen Kelley>where they will have to know every bit of subject matter that they've been taught. <v Colleen Kelley>And I think that's helping. I don't know if they'll all be able to <v Colleen Kelley>survive in the world as we would want them to. <v Colleen Kelley>But I do think that they are getting the basics that we have felt are necessary. <v Colleen Kelley>We've been trying to stress not being able to get caught at something where <v Colleen Kelley>they have had problems in the past. <v Colleen Kelley>Those kids that can't master math skills, we're trying to make it so that they don't get <v Colleen Kelley>gypped out of, out of their money, that they don't get taken when they are purchasing <v Colleen Kelley>appliances or a car or something like that. <v Nonspeech Dialog>[Choir singing "New York, New York"]
<v Shannon Gause>And in this program, we can take the smartest <v Shannon Gause>students and let them go at their own self-pace, which is usually <v Shannon Gause>much quicker than the normal student. <v Shannon Gause>I think education will probably be turning to this throughout the nation <v Shannon Gause>because we have such a vast difference between the educational <v Shannon Gause>rooms of students and it's necessary to have a place for the bright ones <v Shannon Gause>to work. <v Margaret Ferrell>I think the main thing with students is to present all the options, all the alternatives, <v Margaret Ferrell>so that they can make their own decision but ore of an educated decision <v Margaret Ferrell>rather than haphazard.
<v Margaret Ferrell>They must know their options, their alternatives, what they can realistically do. <v Margaret Ferrell>And then they can make that decision. <v Jan Wilson>I think because of television, the kids are aware of a lot more things than they were <v Jan Wilson>when I first started teaching, I taught for 17 years. <v Jan Wilson>So I know I can see where the children know a lot more about <v Jan Wilson>what's going on in the world than I did when I first started my teaching. <v Margie Hardwick>Well, I like the extra curricular activities. <v Margie Hardwick>And I think that's the best part.
<v Unnamed English teacher>Leotard. <v Spelling student 10>L-E-A-T-O-R-D. <v Unnamed English teacher>Leotard. <v Spelling student 11>L-E-O-T-A-I-E. <v Spelling student 12>L-E-O-T-A-R-D. <v Unnamed English teacher>Oh, good for you. <v Unnamed English teacher>Spelled it correctly. L-E-O-T-A-R-D. <v Unnamed teacher 2>Undeneath education if you will put the first school you attended. <v Host>Where do we go from here? Even though the management of the public education system <v Host>grows increasingly difficult, most people don't want to abandon it. <v Host>It seems that everyone has his or her pet theory about how the system <v Host>might be saved. <v John Martin>Public education has got to get back its constituency. <v John Martin>It's got to get back a concerned group of parents and citizenry. <v Charlyn Bacon>The neighborhood school is is very important to the community. <v Charlyn Bacon>The neighborhood school is is what the people want. <v Linus Wright>We know that there is a direct correlation between student achievement and
<v Linus Wright>parental motivation and parental support, parental understanding and support <v Linus Wright>of the schools. When we achieve that kind of support, again, you will see <v Linus Wright>an automatic and immediate upswing of student achievement. <v Beth Randall>Well, I would like to see smaller classes. <v Beth Randall>You I would like to see a better teacher pupil ratio because <v Beth Randall>I feel like the classes are too large and we don't have a chance to individualize as <v Beth Randall>much as we could. <v Patty Eberstein>In my children's future I do not see public school education as an alternative. <v Pam Brannon>Number 1, neighborhood schools. <v Pam Brannon>Number 2, you cut down the pupil teacher <v Pam Brannon>ratio. You can not educate 28 wild <v Pam Brannon>little bodies. <v Linda Budesa>Especially if none of them speak English. <v Pam Brannon>If none of them speak English, or if they don't read. <v Timothy Seibles>[crosstalk]. But that's a, that's a money problem. <v Harley Hiscox>Probably. I don't think we're going to have quality in the classroom until we can bring <v Harley Hiscox>dignity into the into the classroom.
<v Harley Hiscox>You give the teacher dignity then you're going to attract the very best and <v Harley Hiscox>hold the very best. Then you're going to see quality. <v John Bryant>Do we want to let the public school system be where where the public school system is a <v John Bryant>system where the poor people send their children while the rest of us send our children <v John Bryant>to private school? I think that would be a disaster for that for America <v John Bryant>and we'd be wrong. But I think that we're facing that possibility unless the legislators <v John Bryant>begin to take responsibility for it, for financing public schools adequately. <v Linus Wright>Simply at that age, you reap <v Linus Wright>what you sow. And if we're not giving anything to public education, we can't expect <v Linus Wright>anything in return. We can't afford to leave education to educators. <v Linus Wright>Education is a total community responsibility. <v Host>And so we've come full circle. <v Host>The classroom remains the center of the universe of public education. <v Host>But that universe is ever expanding. <v Host>The problems our schools face grow ever more complex, but they can be solved.
Public Education
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"'Public Education' takes a look at the public school system and at the teachers and students, parents and administrators, elected officials and lawmakers who comprise the complicated world of our public educational system. "The program features interviews with Dallas Independent School District superintendent, legal authorities, school board members, teachers, parents of both public and private school students, community activities, student teachers, administrators and students, along with insightful commentary by Seib on the changes and problems facing our public schools today. "The special focuses on new areas now being dealt with by the public schools court-ordered bilingual teaching programs and the need to integrate physically and mentally handicapped students into the mainstream of the educational process."--1982 Peabody Awards entry form.
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The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia
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Chicago: “Public Education,” 1982, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 26, 2022,
MLA: “Public Education.” 1982. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 26, 2022. <>.
APA: Public Education. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from