Angry at the Public Schools

This is one teacher's view of public school systems. The environment our children spend their days in has become politicized to the point where meaningful learning cannot take place. A good learning environment, if successfully established would cost too many jobs within the district's administration, and decrease the importance and power of school boards and administration.

Location: New York State, United States

I took early retirement from teaching, because I could no longer participate in a system designed to empower administrators and enchain the minds of our nation's children.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

How did this happen?

Doing a good job educating children is a difficult proposition at best. Every child has different needs and abilities, which must be taken into account. It takes a lot of planning and teachers are on the front lines of this endeavor. Classrooms are understaffed, often in need of repairs. Books and supplies are lacking. Effective training for teachers in new methodology barely exists. Schools are no longer about children and the people teaching them. They are about powerful and arrogant individuals who cost the taxpayers a fortune playing games of one-up-manship with each other.

Then how did most public school systems become centered on the administrators, the central office, and the board of education? If you look at the employee rosters of most systems, you find a huge number of people devoted to planning, development, and administration. Their offices are comfortable and clean, with plenty of office staff to support their activities. There are conference rooms and reception rooms, plenty of equipment, good salaries. And these people are always actively finding ways to spend money on new programs, which are usually discarded before they can even be tested in favor of something new.

Administrators play games of self- aggrandisement, indulging in expensive conflicts with the unions and/or the Board of Education. The Board of Education sees teachers and administrators as antagonists to be broken and controlled, rather than as allies. Planners and developers of new school educational systems are usually ex-teachers, usually the ones who could not make it in the classroom or sycophants of the administators and school boards. Their main concern is to hold on to cushy jobs and keep from going back to the classroom.

Certainly there are exceptions to this. Smaller school systems are less prone to these problems than large ones. Maybe they dont attract the egomaniacal type of administrator, since they lack scope for their particular brand of game-playing. Maybe smaller districts have parents who maintain close touch with everything happening in their children's environment.

Large school districts have become like big government, and like in politics, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Our children have become the victims and their futures, as well as that of our nation, are at stake.