What is Wrong with American Schools and How We Can Fix Them
I was a teacher in California for 3 1/2 years, that was enough for me. Anyone who tells me that they are going into education I tell them, DON'T. If they still insist upon pursuing an educational career I strongly encourage them to go and sit in a classroom for at least a week. Around 50% of first year teachers quit, there is a reason for that. The primary problem with the Education System is NOT the teachers, it is NOT the lack of money and it isn't even the students. The problem with the Education System in America is Bureaucracy, Authority and Teacher Unions.
Superintendents make 3 to 5 times what teachers make, principals make at least 2 times what a teacher makes. What do they do for that money? Nothing, that's what! Eliminate them and instead have the teachers run the school as a whole, making decisions democratically to hire, fire and promote. The teacher pay should be directly related to the job they do and should be decided by a citizen committee whose children attend the school. They should have to run for election (like the school board) and should not be able to stay on the committee for more than 2 terms.
Moreover, the authority given to teachers in order to promote a healthy teaching environment is undermined. As it is now, every student sitting in a classroom generates money for the school. It doesn't matter if that student is disrupting the entire class each and everyday, it doesn't matter whether that student is learning a damn thing, if their butt is in a desk, the school system gets money, if it's not they don't. So, when a student is disruptive to a class, the principal is reluctant to take that student out of the classroom and instead puts pressure on the teacher to keep the student in the room no matter what. The students know that the teachers have no authority whatsoever and they use this knowledge to play around, misbehave, disrupt the class and so forth. Little education truly goes on in these classrooms, pretty much they are very expensive babysitting jobs. All teachers should have the authority to refuse to teach certain students. If that student is violent, has no interest in learning or is disruptive to the rest of the students, a teacher should be able to have that student removed. Education should be looked on as a privilege and not as a right. Should a student, mend their ways, prove that they are willing and able to learn then they could be reinstated, if not, let them go and teach the students that want an education.
As a teacher you are forced to support the Union unless you opt out for "religious" reasons, even then they make it difficult for you to do that as there is a lot of social pressure to support them through paying your dues and participating in strikes. If you "opt" out you still have to pay dues but you can choose to direct it towards a charity of your choice instead. Most teachers participate and many of them do not know where their union dues goes or the politics involved. Lastly, the tenure system does nothing to help good teachers while promoting a political agenda and protecting bad teachers. It is a system that needs to be abolished.
If you are a parent and you have your child in a school that isn't working, take him/her OUT. Home-school them if you can and if they are older (16 I think) they can take the GED and go to a junior college. That is what I did. I skipped 2 years of High School and instead of graduating with my class I had my AA degree from a junior college. Think outside the box. Furthermore, if your son or daughter is being bullied take them out of school and file a lawsuit against the school. Under no circumstances should you let your child be tortured just so that they can get an education.
Finally, if the U.S. wanted educated citizens the U.S. would have educated citizens. The reason we don't is because the powers that be DON'T want educated citizens. Educated citizens might object to the slavery our masters have foisted upon us. Uneducated masses are happy to watch American Idol every night while letting their masters pull the puppet strings and line their purses in Washington D.C. This has all been done by design.
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