Friday, September 20, 2013
High School Teachers, or Chicken Educators?
I have known many high school teachers in my day, and I even taught high school at one stage of my career, but I have never heard even one of them express publicly their approval of the system under which they are compelled to work.
Teachers hate standardized testing, mainly because it accomplishes absolutely nothing, and detracts from their ability to educate American youth. Teachers hate bureaucracy because it wastes time and resources that could be spent on our kids. Teachers despise the fact that more time is spent on assessments than actually educating students.
There was a time when becoming a teacher was not an easy task. First, there was a substantial training requirement, usually accompanied by a rigorous undergraduate curriculum. If a teacher-candidate successfully completed that program, student-teaching was mandated, and only the best candidates landed jobs. Today, that policy should be re-instated.
We continue to praise the system publicly, and slander it privately. Good teachers do deserve more income. Good students do deserve the best education. Good schools should be given the resources to excel. Yet, when have you heard teachers openly trash the system that is denying our children the best opportunities for the future?
Here are some ideas:
1. Eliminate the bureaucratic nonsense and give control of our schools to local jurisdictions. Jurisdiction A does not get any better by lowering the standards of Jurisdiction B just so everyone is educated equally, but inadequately.
2. Place less emphasis on grilling and assessing teachers proven to be excellent, and instead, stop the social promotions of students who cannot make the grade. At least future employers will be able to differentiate high school graduates who can count to ten from those who cannot read.
3. Dump the standardized testing. It is the equivalent of putting the home run fence at second base so everyone can hit a home run. That is nothing more than political BS.
4. Teachers should stop cackling to their associates in the lunch room. A better course of action would be to stop supporting the policies they cackle about.
5. As a nation, we should be honest with ourselves. We know millions of our kids cannot read, write, or spell. We know one need only to purchase goods in a supermarket for $10.01 and hand the clerk without a computer $20.01. It is an easy way to get $30.00 change. Why? Because we have deviated from the basics.
I am sure there are many more reasons. I am equally certain that there are numerous exceptions to the examples above. But getting back to the basics just might save our nation, where our high school students are falling miserably behind students from foreign nations in academic ability.
It is not a question of money.
. . .