Thursday, February 23, 2006
Education Ruminations II
What are the Reasons for Our Failure?
There seem to be many reasons one can observe in the schools if you take the time to visit one, and receive cooperation from the Principal.
1. School Boards: Most school boards are now buying into the progressive approach to education, and where they are not, they receive prods from the ACLU amd the NEA, plus the Federal Education authorities. When the School boards cave in, the Principals must follow or lose their jobs. Many Principals are already on board the so-called progressive agenda, and believe John Dewey to be a Demi-God.
2. Teachers: Teachers must follow an approved curriculum, which precludes them from teaching anything not accepted by the NEA and the School Board, and teaching the subject in the approved manner as well. To violate this dictum is to be in grave danger of losing one's job. Since the NEA has a progressive agenda, virtually all of our curricula nationwide have about the same courses taught about the same way, with about the same textbooks.
3. Parents: Many parents either don't care about the school agenda, or they care too much. Moderation when the subjects of inequality, fast versus slow students, the very hint of discrimination, religion in the schools, patriotism, playground activities that are banned (such as tag!), and public activities that hint at God or Patriotism, is not to be found in the modern or postmodern PTA.
4. The Teachers Unions: Let us listen to Charlene K. Haar, EPI President:
"From the school house to the White House, the teacher unions are the most formidable foes of meaningful education reforms -- reforms, which I believe are necessary to achieve superior educational outcomes for children at lower costs to parents and other taxpayers through competition.
Despite their rhetoric, the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers, like other labor unions, were established to redistribute income from employers to employees and the unions. There is no incentive to reduce costs when taxpayers must pay upon demand. There is no reason to excel when the best employees are paid what the worst are paid. For decades, the NEA/AFT have negotiated highly inefficient contracts covering such items as
hours of employment and compensation
teacher work load and duties
teaching assignments and seniority
teacher evaluation and tenure
taxpayer subsidies to the unions, such as paid time off for union work, use of school mail system, payroll deduction for dues and NEA/AFT PACs at no cost to the unions, and retirement credit for full-time service as a union employee." I strongly recommend that everyone reads the full article.( go to http://www.educationpolicy.org/files/Crisis398.htm for the full article )
This article is a full-scale condemnation of the unions in stifling our education system. A key factor in this is the politicization of education by the progressive liberals of the Democratic Party. They have a stranglehold on the education system that will be extremely difficult to break.
So, we have teachers, parents, administrators, and unionists battling for the money, power and posts in the system, which leaves the poor students to meekly accept the pittance they get in valid learning. Not that the students themselves are blameless. The modern student is not the meek, docile, accepting child that was the norm 20 or more years ago.
(to be continued)