It is a widely accepted fact that school is an integral part of life. People agree on the importance of schooling in a person’s life almost unanimously. However, there are perceptions about schooling, dictated by cultural, religious, economical, and political factors. The policies about education and the education system in general affect the perceptions about school and education in general.
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The writer set out to determine the perceptions by social workers in California in the U.S. have on education. This paper will first provide the perception about local education by two social workers with community based organizations. Interviews with two people who work with community-based organizations (CBO) will provide information about the perception about local education.
The paper will also review a newspaper article that has information on the perception of local education in California. The writer interviewed two people who work with Community Based Organizations (CBO) in California. The two are Mr. Charles Wainwright and Mr. Geraldo Garcia.
Charles was a probation officer mostly involved in issues dealing with children and girls (Wainright, personal communication, July 11, 2011). He is also a full time football coach (Wainright, personal communication, July 11, 2011). He developed an interest in working with a CBO to help children since he grew up in a challenging environment after his father was murdered when he was seven years old (Wainright, personal communication, July 11, 2011).
His mother raised him and therefore he always wanted to participate in the promotion of the girl child education and encourage them to be good parents in the future and to be involved in national activities (Wainright, personal communication, July 11, 2011). On his part, Garcia has been working with the CBO for almost 10 years and he chose to work with the agency as a hobby (Garcia, personal communication, July 12, 2011).
According to Mr.Wainright and Mr. Garcia, the CBOs they were working with were not involved in the administrative part of the education system. They provided support to schools and guidance in dealing with some issues.
They leave the administrative roles to the government education agencies (Wainright, personal communication, July 11, 201; Garcia, personal communication, July 12, 2011). The two interviewees could not overemphasize the importance of education in the country. They defined school as everything, an important thing in people’s lives and an opportunity to participate in national building activities (Wainright, personal communication, July 11, 2011Garcia, personal communication, July 12, 2011).
Garcia emphasized that school was very important in molding successful Americans. According to Wainright, education is a tool of empowerment especially to the poor families. A system should be put in place to encourage children to study especially those from poor backgrounds (Wainright, personal communication, July 11, 2011).
The CBOs interact with schools and families through constant communication, organizing of fun days, paying visits to schools during ordinary days and organizing family unions (Wainright, personal communication, July 11, 2011). This is important since it has helped the parents for pupils in California to have a good relationship with the schools and the education agencies.
Charles confirmed that if given the opportunity, he could improve the schools to include more diversity and reach all stakeholders in education to ensure full participation in the development and maintenance of good education programs. According to him, the best way to run local schools is to maintain constant communication with parents, make efforts to understand the problems children might be facing, and to reach out to families facing some challenges such as single parent families (Wainright, personal communication, July 11, 2011).
On his part, Garcia advocates for internationally run schools (Garcia, personal communication, July 12, 2011). The two cite various challenges in their community work. Some of these challenges are children taking wrong paths in their education, which takes time to correct, political influence in running of the schools, and the influence of drugs (Wainright, personal communication, July 11, 2011;, Garcia, personal communication, July 11, 2011).
The two had been adequately prepared to work in the CBOs due to their family backgrounds and interests. Wainright was brought up in a single family and he has always wanted to help children especially those who come from the same background as his. He had been a part-time coach before joining the CBO and in this position, he learnt how to interact and work with people (Wainright, personal communication, July 11, 2011).
Garcia has always wanted to come back and help the locals achieve the best in education. He joined the CBO due to his desire to improve the lives of his fellow people (Garcia, personal communication, July 12, 2011). From the interviews of the two CBO officers, the writer can draw conclusions that the education system in California is not perfect but it is not doing badly.
The interviewees understand the importance of education in their lives, thanks to the efforts made by the CBOs. The CBO officers are quite content with the efforts they are making but they admit that the education system has some flaws that need to be addressed. In a way, they seem to suggest that people understand the importance of education but the hindrance to access of education is drug abuse and poverty in some families (Wainright and Garcia, personal communication, July 11, 2011).
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The article the writer reviewed was titled “Conditions of Education in California”. The main issue discussed in the article was about financing the education system in California. According to the article, many local people have a feeling that funding of schools in California is not done in a rational manner due to political issues (PACE Blog, 2011).
This problem has caused an imbalance in accessing education in various districts in the State of California (PACE Blog, 2011). According to the article however, a bill has been passed that seeks to improve the funding of education in California. The bill, named AB 18 seeks to make the financing of education in California more equitable and objective. The State Assembly has voted the bill and it is awaiting approval from the State Senate.
Despite the problems in funding and inequality in accessing education, it has been observed that school enrollment in California has been increasing in the recent past and therefore proper measures are required to improve the quality of education to cater for increased intake.
This is a positive trend since it shows that the locals in California understand the importance of education and they are building confidence in the local schools. Another development in the education system in California, according to the article, is the resignation of some officers in Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). They resigned due to mismanagement or misconduct cases.
This is an indicator that reforms in the education system are under way and the government agencies are doing their best to improve the sector (PACE Blog, 2011). According to the article, statistics about the State of California from the latest U.S. census will have a great effect on the future of education sector in the State. According to PACE Blog (2011), the effects are still under speculation.
A board has been set up to ensure that it draws district boundaries in line with the demographic statistics of California. It is expected that a revision of district boundaries will make education accessible to most people in the State. In addition, the revision of boundaries will ensure that education sector is well managed in the State.
The article generally reflects that the recent developments in the State of California provide the locals with hope on the education system. The State seems to have realized that it can do better and that the education sector can be well managed in the future.
The Californians’ perception of local schooling is improving and this trend is expected to continue in future. This is because of the sectoral reforms that the government agencies are making and the improvement of the importance of education. Various stakeholders have realized the need to participate in education hence making big contributions to the education sector.
The perceptions about local education have some effects on the future of the writer as a teacher. First, the writer should be prepared to face the challenges that are present in the local schools such as drug abuse, wrong choices by students and political interference.
The writer however has some comfort in the fact that the locals understand the importance of education and that there are community-based organizations (CBO) which help the local schools. The writer has confidence that the local education system will change for the better.
PACE Blog. (2011). Conditions of education in California. Web.
Interviews with Geraldo Garcia and Charles Wainright, 2011. Web.