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Randy Speck

Superintendent , Madison District Public Schools

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Debate: Should public schools take on the responsibility for offering basic needs like food and health care to students and families?

Schools may no longer be just a place for parents to drop their kids off for six and a half hours each day. Due to various socio-economics, schools increasingly find themselves in a new place of influence. The impact of that influence could have a major impact on communities. Schools have access to be able to provide three meals a day through various breakfast, lunch and dinner programs. Schools have access to healthcare through School Based Health Centers to be able to provide services to students, their families and the community. However, the debate is...should schools have this responsibility?

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    Oct 29 2012: we are talking about "creche' ?

    Organisations become psychopathic by definition the instant they become subject to monetary economics (funding).
    Schools are already destroying creativity and critical thinking through this dynamic. There is evidence that they are also physically poisoning children through school food.
    One also has to look at organisational dynamics to observe that few in the organisation have the corporate mission statement as highest priority - empires sprout in organisations as soon as resource governance is concentrated in a single process or department - as this defines an advantage vector for those who accept competition as self-defining.
    The parental structure, however has bio-physical re-enforcement to keep the child's nurture as priority. I can see no significant benefit in suplanting that dynamic.

    How about we just dump all our children into a pit and bury them? It would be far more cost effective. If you agree with this, by all means, send your kids to the creche' - the buldozer option will be on the table when we get machines to do what kids are being trained to do now.
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      Oct 29 2012: "The parental structure, however has bio-physical re-enforcement to keep the child's nurture as priority. I can see no significant benefit in suplanting that dynamic."

      Mitch...I agree, but what to do when that responsibility isn't taking place. Schools would have a lot of additional instructional time (throw in some creativity as well) if they were not becoming a major source of nurturing for students.
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        Oct 29 2012: Well, that's just it - they are not nurturing the "students".
        Perhaps a few maveric teachers still practice "closed door teaching", but governmental imposition of "metric testing" ensures that no teacher can close the door on fascist boot-camp.
        Childen are not "students" - forget that lie. Get over "instruction" as well - children are not "instructed" - they get hints about how to achieve their goals - from people who have done something similar.
        Take all the words about "education" and rip them out of your dictionary - they are all lies.
        Here's a model that might have a hope:
        Those with a true calling to nurture the chosen aspirations of children - PLUS those who have spent their youth acquiring skills (our elders) make themselves available at a "university" - the community and families feed them and make sure they are given dignity.
        The children go to these places and find their way to the appropriate "helper". Peer dynamics help them find the best helper, and learning is undertaken by doing - with the support of teh acumulated knowledge of teh world as reference - in books and computers. The child comes and goes as he/she wants. All of it is voluntary. Such a place would be like a library - but the dynamic would spread into the community with children following their heros when and where it is practical - from libraray, to homes to workplaces.
        (edit: Just checked your profile. Apologies if you find this as an attack on your career. I can see that you have a genuine desire to do better for our children. But .. in the framwork of schools as defined by government and market dynamics, there is little hope of seeing the way forward. Try this: Humanity seems to have 3 or 4 modes of social interaction: dominance, leadership, reciprocity and communality. The underlying flaw of our social paradigm is that all operates as reciprocity - as represented by money. When you apply that dynamic to leadership or communality - it fails. Education is part of communality.)

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