Education · employment · Ethics · political commentary · politics · social activism · Teaching · Uncategorized · Voting

Education Is In a Death Spiral: Democracy Matters

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An observation, if I may:  when a particular field experiences a shortage, there’s a problem that needs to be addressed, and FYI the problem is not that something is wrong at the bottom. There is a reason that highly qualified people in the U.S. are leaving the teaching profession. There is also a reason that our most capable students in the U.S. no longer aim to become teachers. I believe that it has a lot to do with our cultural views of teachers and our general lack luster appreciation for the work that they do. Didn’t you know that any ole monkey can teach? Well, here’s another observation: not even a monkey would stay for sub-par treatment (socially and professionally). More, if you thought that summers off is the reason that I chose to teach (you know, because I am lazy and all that stuff), try again; I don’t make enough money to take the summer off.

In fact, I’ve noticed that the only monkeys that stay in education are the monkeys at the top (admin), because some monkeys are willing to perform for high pay and low expectations regarding results. Whoaaa, now, that was mean spirited, wasn’t it? Sometimes the truth feels like meanness, but it does not make it any less the truth. Maybe in a relatively small number of cases my snipe at administration is not deserved, but overwhelmingly it is; these people are often as dumb as rocks, were likely at some point in the past highly ineffective in classrooms, hated the classroom, which explains the ineffectiveness (no, it was not the students), or generally power hungry control freaks that the district did not know what to do with, so they put them at the top (easier than going through the whole firing process of a tenured faculty member). I suspect that there is some thinking along the lines of it being better to put them in an office than in a classroom; I mean, how much trouble could they cause in an administration position?

How about loads of trouble; trouble that runs right down to running off our best educators who simply get tired of working for idiots who lacked the capacity to manage a classroom, but now may have the capacity to lead a professional staff. What??? These failing teachers become failing administrators, folks; this is not rocket science. And if you think that getting rid of tenure for faculty is the answer to our education problems, well just know that most capable and skilled people don’t choose professional lives that are unstable, especially when the unstable nature of the job is not founded purely on performance. At least a professional can aim to control a performance based continuation of employment situation; however, Principal Boone’s next door neighbor needing a job next year should not be the reason that a professional becomes jobless. Yes, things like that do happen in states where teachers are now employed year-to-year, and those sorts of nonsense based reasons for discontinuation of employment are even more likely to happen when ineffective teachers have become ineffective principals.

I’ve decided there is a reason for all of this, though. It’s because the tip top to the tippy tip top positions are often held by people who have political aspirations of one sort or another; those are sure to be ethical leaders. I honestly believe that stupidity is the goal. If they can create an environment where others don’t question or challenge them and are at the same time beholden to them to get important things accomplished, they can go about creating an intellectually inferior populace, which will be largely incapable of contributing in any meaningful manner to our democratic process (the whole goal of a state funded free public education). If you can’t think for yourself, analyze information in a meaningful manner, and decipher between cogent arguments and nonsense, then your vote has been bought, no matter the circumstances of the purchase.

If you don’t leave a classroom at the end of the class period feeling confused, stirred up, discombobulated, annoyed, curious, inspired or in the throws of full blown cognitive dissonance, you are being taught by a state governed monkey, but you certainly have not experienced a teacher. Administrators appear to love state governed monkeys because they get students “through” and that’s all that really matters in the end. Never mind that they still locate their elbow when searching for their ass; that has nothing to do with voting rights. Voting agendas only need loyal monkeys to deposit cherry picked information into a human receptacle who can later cast a vote based on the deposited information.

If you are a teacher, you are a teacher all of the time; sometimes that means that you must model resistance to an overarching agenda that is detrimental to your students and their ability to function well as adults (with their own examined thoughts) in a democratic society.

Remember, some are called and others just show up!

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One thought on “Education Is In a Death Spiral: Democracy Matters

  1. Public education, along with public health, public lands, public infrastructures, public anything, is caught in the gears of a collapsing system eaten through and through by predatory capitalism. There is no longer any fix, just like that galvanized tub with the rusty, leaky bottom. The sides are OK, but the bottom is rotten and without a bottom, there is no tub. All efforts at fixing or tweaking are a complete waste of energy. For example, if you were to put “education” back in teaching, you’d have to change the curriculum. Re-introduce the so-called ‘arts’ going heavy on teaching philosophy, world history, languages, after students learn how to read and write properly. You’d have to develop ways that challenge and expand a human mind, not the mind of a working robot. You’d have to teach students how to learn by themselves, how to choose their subjects intelligently and give them the freedom to do so… everything that goes against current admin plans if plans there are. Apart from gross lack of funding, the problem is always top-down dictatorial administration. Public ed today isn’t education, it’s blatant brainwashing.

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