…the Bleacherman has entered the building…
It seems that the one thing that we can all agree on is that our nation’s educational system fails to properly educate far too many of our children. On the other hand, the one thing that we cannot all agree on is who is to blame for this outrageous and tragic failure.
Most people are quick to point the accusatory finger of blame at what seems to be the most obvious and accessible target: teachers and their unions. Prevailing right wing wisdom(?) believes that because educators are unionized and with unionization comes tenure and protection from termination for poor performance, then, almost by default, most teachers are either grossly ineffective or lack the willingness and conviction to do their jobs properly. These critics believe that if a teacher is not motivated by money or fear of being firing, then that teacher has no reason to work hard to properly and effectively teach the children in their classroom.
To which I say: BULLSHIT!
I will grant you that there are indeed a number of teachers who have for whatever reason lost interest in teaching and there are a number of teachers who just do not have the skill sets necessary to educate today’s students. And I agree that is incumbent upon all teachers and their unions to recognize and address this problem.
But many of today’s educators have been abandoned by a failing system. Teachers have lost faith in the process that is not really interested in teaching children to learn but is more focused on teaching children how to take tests.
It then comes as no surprise that teachers are frustrated when trying to work with dwindling classroom budgets in an environment where superintendents, administrators and armies of consultants are receiving very benefit and salary rich contracts.
There is always money for over-priced high tech gadgets that bring very little to the learning experience. There is always money for footballs and shoulder pads, basketballs and trendy new uniforms but never is there money for essential supplies like paper, textbooks, maps, pencils and bathroom facilities that actually work.
Teachers are tired of the new economic reality where there is always money for children of wealthy families who are eager to donate tens of thousands of dollars to neighborhood schools while lower economic communities are hard pressed to raise several hundred dollars through bake sales.
Teachers are tired of being dictated to by political bureaucrats who have turned the educational process into a massive exercise in test taking rather than instruction in the fundamentals of reasoning, cognitive thinking and learning how to learn.
They are tired of sociologists offering excuses on why some families just don’t have the time to involve themselves in their child’s educational process. They have heard the apologists and mitigators far too often: Parents have to work two and three jobs just to put food on the table, parents do not speak English or do not have any formal education of their own and do not understand the complexities of the English, math and sciences being taught their children. So how can they help?
Disruptive and continuously absent children are also neatly packaged and given a “get out of jail” card because of a host of environmental, sociological and economic influences. Even homework has been taken off the table. God forbid a child is not given enough time to play on their x-box or surf social media sites.
So America takes the easy way out. It blames the teachers and their unions. Such attitude only demonstrates that our society has become very well schooled on how NOT to accept responsibility for any of its own failures.
…the Bleacherman has left the stadium…