Joseph Lombard, a member of the Board of Education seeking election on the Republican line November 5, declares in a commentary “I don’t believe that a school should be a one-stop-shop for every service that a student/family might need. I believe that it is important to preserve the singular specialness of the school as an oasis for the student (and the family for that matter) and not to associate it with many of the burdens that are necessarily attended to through various social services.”
The purpose of education is clearly something that is defined differently by different groups and has definitely morphed and changed over the centuries if not millennia. In my own personal school experience, I learned that school was a place to socialize, learn, mature, experience new things through the arts, technology, clubs, and sports, and most importantly to strive to be a respectable person overall. Self-expression was encouraged but not necessarily in the classroom.
Over the years, the purpose of P-12 education, especially public education, most definitely has shifted with the times. Historically speaking, education was once for the privileged few and it taught more esoteric concepts. As the needs of society changed, public education became a place where the masses could learn the basics needed to function in the workplace. Only as philosophies have changed has the education system grown into what it is today. In many respects public education is expected to be a panacea for all of what may be lacking in the home by being a place not just for learning and maturing, but also to have one’s personal needs met. Additionally, although education now strives to reach students “where they are” in so many aspects and learning styles, on the other hand schools tend to ignore the student’s actual self by demanding certain levels of performance. I see the current education system as both deserving to be commended for all of the many ways it tries to reach students but also deserving to be criticized for the pressure it places on kids to reach certain standards in very specific areas–in a way that seems old-fashioned for lack of a better term.
Among all of this, I believe that the opportunity for students to experience as many extras as possible such as sports, clubs, and theater should be made available in all levels of education. However, I don’t believe that a school should be a one-stop-shop for every service that a student/family might need. I believe that it is important to preserve the singular specialness of the school as an oasis for the student (and the family for that matter) and not to associate it with many of the burdens that are necessarily attended to through various social services.
First,,Joseph Lomard cannot be “reelected” because the voters of Bridgeport never elected him. He was appointed by Joe Ganim and Mario Testa’s misfit school board members.
Second, this Op-ed is a perfect example of why Joseph Lombard should not serve on the Board of Education.
Third, if a student is hungry, homeless, depressed, mentally ill, living in a dysfunctional home, living with those engaged in substance abuse, and more it significantly diminishes their ability to succeed.
Our schools need to be more than just an avenue to learn the three Rs.