No Bolt From The Blue

No bolt from the blue
It comes as no surprise to read, “City’s vocational programs falling short, report says,” 2-19-19. We are told that the Baltimore City Public School system hired a firm to conduct an audit of its vocational programs to help bring about significant changes. In my opinion this news gives little reason for optimism, but supplies a lot of ground for pessimism. Why? The audit is just another costly expenditure – a waste of taxpayer money – showing data that will not really get to the heart of the matter.

Although students have voiced their concerns about the failures of the programs, officials wind up wasting time and money (lots of money) to try to right the wrongs – but all to no avail. Officials simply do not listen to the students – students who really do have promise, students who are starved for more than food – students who need people to show them what they can achieve in life and guide them on that path – students who need individualized curricula to center around their interests and needs. You don’t need expensive, fancy audits to tell you this.

Two years ago, I used a 2-pronged approach in presenting to the Baltimore City Board of Education an outline of my TUTOR-MENTOR-TEAM PROGRAM. Its mission is to give students, starting at the elementary school level, an opportunity to connect with a team of tutor-mentor volunteers who will work with the student throughout his/her entire school life – from the onset of the connection until the student graduates and/or becomes gainfully employed – guiding and helping to keep the student on the path of success.

First – I contacted a division within the Board of Education – Department of Commuications – with the hope they would share my program with Dr. Sonja Santelises. That never materialized.

Second – Contact with James Torrence, staff specialist in Baltimore City schools, resulted in his giving me a green light to go into any school in Baltimore City and persuade them to put the program into action as a pilot program.

I submitted the outline to 3 city public schools and offered to serve as a consultant, free of charge, in its implementation. Not one of the 3 principals had the courtesy to acknowledge my efforts. So when one reads about the failures of the city’s schools, be it the vocational program or any other facet of public education, it is not like a bolt from the blue.

Maybe it is time for the powers to be to take more seriously the TUTOR-MENTOR TEAM PROGRAM.

Ralph Jaffe
Teacher
Baltimore

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