Other than serving as a reminder of my advancing age and mortality, getting the kids ready for another school year is an exciting time in many ways. The kids are all sending texts to their friends about which classes they have, which classes they are looking forward to and which classes they believe to be exceptionally challenging. I can remember those days, minus the texting and the Facebook updates, of course. Back in my day, we either called on a land line or walked to our friends' houses to have such dialog.
This will be an interesting year for education as a whole. The Oklahoman is reporting that ACT scores are down and Janet Barresi is less than happy about it. The Oklahoman and Tulsa World have also reported that higher education spending has increased, even though we're suffering under wicked budget problems. So, the question will remain as to how much money will be allocated by the legislature to ensure that education is funded in a manner that makes all the teachers happy, yet does nothing to curb administrative costs. At one point during the last election cycle there was a great deal of talk about the possibility of consolidation of administrative positions at the superintendent level, but we've pinned our hopes on that previously, only to be smashed on the threshing floor of election year politics.
So, we all wait to see what happens this year. It's a time of change for all of us, really. Things aren't what they used to be and I think many of our children are starting to realize this fact as well. All the stories we shared about how it was for us "back in the day" are in stark contrast to the reality of what is right now. Increased violence in schools, increased peer pressure, more bullying...kids need to just be kids and worry about academics, not the latest Facebook trends.
Good luck to all of the returning students, and good luck to the teachers who are tasked with their education and oversight. Strap in...it's going to be a bumpy one this year.