Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Public Schooling is Unsatisfactory

Unsatisfactory -- not doing enough. I have been tarred with this tag from time to time, as well.

It's not true, nor is it fair, but when the teacher has no support, authority, or any standing, what can he do?

I am not an unsatisfactory teacher - but I became a frustrated one. Testing is important, to the degree that the intent is to hold students to a high standard and hold teachers accountable for what they do for their students. But the craze over standardized testing is erasing the core mission of education: prepare students to know who they are, what the have, and what they want to do in this great hall of life.

Sadly, most school exist to keep bureaucrats in place, to make sure that deadwood teachers can collect a position, a paycheck, and finally a pension. Many teachers who do not like their jobs have no incentive or pressure to leave, since they are guaranteed a job for life with a cozy retirement.

Of course, there are many teachers who love what they are doing, and they deserve recognition for their merits, and merit pay, to boot. They are the class of more than satisfactory teachers -- they are extraordinary, and they deserve all the help and honor that they get.

I am not an unsatisfactory teacher. The system of education is an unsatisfactory monopoly of favors, favoritism, and unfavorable conditions which rob communities of the best use of their tax dollars.

The leadership on many school campuses has become rudderless in the face of dwindling budgets, growing political threats from parents and private donors, and no one seems to care.

I am not an unsatisfactory teacher. The current system of public education is an unsatisfactory mess all around.


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