Unresponsive DOE should be ashamed

Nathaniel Curtis, Managing Editor

I had the chance to write a story regarding the school’s national Blue Ribbon Award. If you are familiar with the story, then you know that I wrote about a possible focus on private and charter schools over public schools. OK, so what? Well, I was not very excited about that decision, but I didn’t feel really irritated until I tried to call the National Department of Education.

They never called back. Ever. After more than a month of calls and emails, I got absolutely no response. Again, you may wonder why this bothers me. The reason that I was so upset is that they work for me. Me, you and everyone in the public school community. As a student, I am the No. 1 beneficiary to their decisions, in theory. However, in practice the situation is reversed.

Seeing as I got no response, I personally believe that yes, the awards board did purposefully seek private schools with money to spend. Now I’m not saying that bribes were involved, but the monetary funds of those schools had to have come into play. That, or the public school system on the state level is so disjointed that the national level simply didn’t get the information that they needed (which is what almost happened in Florida).

With that in mind, at least the Florida Department of Education cared enough about me, as a student with a true and meaningful question, to respond within a few days after my first contact. That is a good representation of tax dollars at work. They get back to people and work to ensure that schools are given a fair shot at things such as the Blue Ribbon Award. What I don’t understand is why the national level fails to do even that. They get the most of our taxes compared to the rest of the school system, but they seem to do the worst job. They certainly have more employees, but not one of them can get back to me for five minutes to answer one question.

“But you’re just a student, just a kid. Why should they care?” They should care because the only reason that they are even in existence is to serve children in order to create a functional learning environment to foster a promising future. If I have a question about how an organization that is meant to serve me is being run, they have a responsibility to answer it. That goes for anyone that is effected by their decisions. We are the reasons that they have jobs. We are their CEOs. If they can’t do a job that we give them plus ignore us when we want an explanation, there is a simple solution that employers often use. It involves a piece of pink paper, and it may be what is in store if things continue on the same path.

Sixty-seven calls, 18 emails, zero response.