THE JIM FRANKLIN CALENDAR FOR 1976 Jim Franklin has been commissioned to paint Leon Russell’s swimming pool, a Times Square billboard for the New York Museum of Modern Art, several walls of Armadillo World Headquarters, posters to preserve the longneck, and album covers for the rock & roll world. Now, twelve paintings borrowed from private collections have been reproduced in full color as a wall calendar for 1976. If the medium is the message, Jim Franklin’s message has surfaced on and around us for the last ten years in a most unique and humorous way. Though best known for his work involving Armadillos \(indeed the fostering of a statewide other equally interesting subjects. Order now for yourself and a friend money order to: EDENTATA PRESS, 503 West 17th, Austin, Texas 78701. 250 signed and numbered copies of the 12″ x 24″ calendar are available for $15.00 each. 1V e ~sl ~y fV31. 1″ v ol’ OW 11’61 s ic rc .e`f-u t s ,\\Ns’ 12 The Texas Observer MARTIN ELFANT SUN LIFE OF CANADA LIFE HEALTH DENTAL 600 JEFFERSON SUITE 430 HOUSTON, TEXAS 224-0686 Angry Children LAST YEAR the Panel on Youth of the President’s Science Advisory Committee, headed by James S. Coleman, issued its report on the circumstances of the nation’s disgruntled kids. Their rebellion had startled parents and presidents alike. The panel concluded, “The way of life we have institutionalized for our young consists entirely of social interaction with others of the same age and formal relationships with authority figures.” The labor of children is not needed, so they are kept out of the labor market as long as possible. Children “are not only economically burdensome on their families, but the family itself is often a burden on the child . . . because the society is increasingly unable to provide them with firm direction toward entry into the labor market.” Coleman’s group recommended alternatives to the long period of forced school attendance on every child. Among them are opportunities for work and the provision by the schools of a wider range of experience than is presently afforded to children. There is little evidence that these recommendations are being taken seriously.And the Supreme Court’s decision sanctions a practice which is aimed at retaining the status quo. Children are expected to remain docile and obedient to school personnel for a decade or more with no assurance that there will be future benefits or even present satisfaction. And teachers are expected to keep them in their place but to do so with meager equipment, little assistance, much harassment. No teacher can suffer the resultant frustrations without anger, and children are the handiest targets of that anger. Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers, offers one view of “Why Teachers Are Angry,” in the June, 1975 American School Board Journal. Shanker rages at the paternalism which has always characterized the attitudes of school boards toward teachers. In the past, this paternalism affected teachers’ personal lives. Rigid rules governing personal habits, church attendance, and courtship behavior were routine. Today the paternalism is directed toward teachers’ professional lives. Teachers, said Shanker, have no voice in determining curriculum, classroom size, use of books, even the purchase of chalk. He bitterly recalls that the 1969 Rockefeller Commission appointed to study public education in New York included not a single teacher. When teachers unions attempt to include improvement of learning conditions for children in their bargaining demands, they are told, according to Shanker, “That’s education policy, a management prerogative. You have no right to bargain policy. The union’s sphere is exclusively the salary, benefits, and working conditions of its members.” Teachers are angry not only about the paternalism of school boards “but of administrators who are guilty of the worst excesses.” Teachers and students alike are subjected to demeaning rules and procedures which directly affect the atmosphere in which children are supposed to learn. After observing the average classroom, one quickly reaches the conclusion that the needs of administration take first precedence. Children are told that it is ill-mannered to interrupt others’ conversations, at least without an “excuse me” in case of urgency. But in the classroom, a voice, carried in full stereo sound, brings a constant barrage of administrative commands. The disembodied voice, with no “excuse me” cuts off a lively discussion on the music of Beethoven to demand that someone report to THE OFFICE with a blue card AT ONCE. When the students lose interest in Beethoven and express resentment over the double standard that affords them no respect, it is the teacher who must rekindle interest and deal with the resentmentnot only the students’, but the teacher’s own. TEACHERS and students are angry. Both are trapped and each becomes the target of the other’s rage. The solutions provided by the administrators have been rigid discipline, security guards in school corridors, and I.D. cards clipped to students’ collars to assure that those banished by expulsion do not return to exact vengeance. In such an atmosphere, teachers attempt to guide the natural curiosity of children and make use of their eagerness to learn. The reward offered the students is a vague promise of economic and occupational benefits at some vague future time. There are problems when a child’s natural endowments have been thwarted or diseased, or the child views the promises as empty or unattainable. Teachers have been led to believe that help in teaching these children may be expected
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