Throughout history, it has been a common thing that education will open the door to many opportunities to better your life…and nowhere has it been more true than in America. In this country, education gives you the tools to make your own American Dream.
However, in recent years, there have been issues. People in America complain that American children aren’t preforming as well we should in school compared to other nations when you would think that we should given that we are the most prosperous country ever in the history of the world.
Naturally, most teachers say that there should be more funding for their salaries and their schools or even that national government should be in control. But is any of that really the right answer? I think not.
First off, not every school district is terrible–some, like mine, regularly graduate more than ninety percent of their high school seniors. Based on this, I do not believe that this is something that requires federal control and intervention. Different school districts are at varying stages of success and failure and some even have different problems. As the common saying goes, don’t fix what ain’t broke…and for those things that are, those closer to the problems (states and the school districts themselves) must solve their problems individually.
So, what do I think is the problem? I think the main problems are twofold: misallocation of educational funds and the teachers/educators themselves. So, based on that, as the title of this post indicates, when looking for who to blame: look in the mirror, educators and liberal policy makers.
With educational funds, it seems that a lot of times, schools focus a lot on pushing sports so that they can win championships and bring athletic prestige to their school. For example, my high school built a million dollar stadium even though my high school’s football team has never even sniffed at a state championship…in my opinion, they hadn’t earned an upgrade. Also, in a referendum, my school district’s school board elected to put in a new swimming pool. In these cases, it seemed to me that my school district was emphasizing athletics more than academics. Now, don’t get me wrong: I do understand that sports can teach you things and build character and skills in teamwork, but I believe that since schools are meant to teach you the basics (math, science, reading/writing, etc.), these academics should be put first. If there are things academically that need upgrading (i.e. technology, school supplies for classrooms, school building repair, etc.), then those things should be dealt with…any extra money can go to helping sports and other extra curriculars since they can be good ways to keep kids out of bad things (i.e. gangs, drugs, etc.).
The other problem, as mentioned above, are the teachers and other educators themselves. In big cities with bad public schools, people know that if their kids want a good education, they have to go to some sort of private school. There are plenty of good teachers out there…I have been fortunate that most of my teachers in K-12 have been good, some even exemplary. However, there are teachers out there that aren’t great…I have had a few. Part of the problem, is with tenure. As you are probably well aware, once a teacher gets tenure, it is very difficult to get them fired…which makes them almost untouchable. This can be a reward if the teacher is good but a nightmare for parents if the teacher if bad. This, of course, is unlike most other jobs in the real world. In the real world, if you do a bad job…especially consistently, you will be fired, no questions asked. And sometimes, when good teachers get tenure, they become lazy because they know that their job is secured until they retire. They lose the incentive to do well with this security whereas other workers know they must always preform well to keep their jobs.
Teachers also complain about the pay because as it is infamously said that you do not get into education for the money. In the same sense as with most other jobs, I believe that pay even for teachers should be earned…if you teach well enough that your students are doing well, you should be compensated. I am not against rewarding those who do well–I’d be perfectly okay with giving teachers raises for based on how long they been there and their level of education (as many teachers seem to say they wish would factor into their salary) as long as they do well–I, just like most taxpayers, want to just see the results before we give the reward. And if your students are not doing well, adjust your teaching style or whatever it takes so that your students are succeeding…after all, it is the teacher’s job to make sure kids learn.
In the news a lot lately, there have been a lot of teachers protesting in big cities such as Chicago…these cities, of course, are famous for having such terrible public schools that if you want your children to get a decent education you go to whatever private school is available. They demand better funding for schools, but it seems that ever year, they get the funding but still underperform. My message to these teachers? Vote differently. Many of the cities that having these failing public schools are run by Democratic machines which then have their meddling hands in the education system. If you’re going to fix the problem, go to the source. Protesting won’t help…it’ll just take away from time that teachers can be helping their kids learn.
Also, recently in the news has been Trump’s Secretary of Education pick Betsy Devos. The mainstream media criticizes her for being for private, charter schools. However, if they work better than the public schools that are failing, why not try them as part of the solution? States should invest in what works…just like a business will invest its assets into something they believe will make them money.
So, in conclusion, I suppose my point is that when you’ve tried over and over to fix something with a ‘solution’, and the job is not getting done, then you must move onto different solutions to get the job done. It’s just common sense, and anyone who would rather whilly-nilly just go along with the same failing methods instead is a blind moron.