I AM CONCERNED about education in America.

I am concerned that many young people of graduating age would rather jump off a bridge than choose education as a noble and future undertaking. I am concerned that teachers are very often unsupported, in spite of the fact that these teachers are at the front lines of the educational war we call schools, including emotional and economic support.

I am concerned about the great many unregulated children who come to school looking normal who have profound emotional, developmental, and specific learning needs, often overlooked and undetected, because these children look “normal.”

I am concerned that schools are often headed by principals and superintendents who have only had a maximum of five years in the classroom before assuming their administrative positions. I am concerned that sometimes good teachers are terminated, and poor teachers are allowed to stay on because of their tenure status.

I am concerned about dyslexic students who are often viewed as “just needing to look harder” at the print in front of them instead of professionals realizing this is a brain-based condition.

I am concerned that guns can eliminate a whole classroom of youngsters, and that leaders should suggest that schools need more guns as a result. I am concerned for the student who feels a need to bring a gun to school in the first place.

I am concerned that classrooms and schools advocate for anti-bullying “programs” and then turn a blind eye toward real situations. I am concerned when expensive programs are purchased only to learn that the needs of the population have changed, and these sit on the shelf.

I am concerned that schools are funded so poorly, yet some businesses around the country bask in their excess. I am concerned that sexual abuse exists in any school in America.

I am concerned that educators in many schools are tired, uninspired, and counting the days until retirement. I am concerned with the lack of innovation in many schools. I am concerned that there is a distinct line drawn between trades learning and “college-level” learning, indicating the latter is superior.

I am concerned that schools still resemble the 1880’s industrial revolution, a one-size-fits-all approach.

I am concerned that teaching remains a highly concentrated female position, and yet leadership is often a male-dominated reality in many schools, the income gap between these roles is wide and unfairly calibrated. I am concerned that experienced teachers are discriminated against in public institutions where public school funding is mainly from property taxes.

I am concerned that many institutions prefer to invest in sports programs and pretend to be behind the true mission of educational institutions, including public universities. I am equally concerned that colleges accept students into programs even when it is obvious they are unprepared . I am equally concerned that national system does not properly educate its youth about the hazards of funding an American education so that bankruptcy before graduation is almost a guarantee.

I am concerned about education in America.

Amy Rheault-Heafield, M.Ed, has been an educator since 1992. She lives in New Boston.