Commentary on Public Education

Guest post by Matt Posner.

There are very few bad teachers, but their impact is considerably less than the impact of bad administrators. In contrast with the few bad teachers there are, there is a relentless pounding attack upon the teaching profession in the political arena, with constant call for our heads and our jobs, with constant accusations that we do not deserve the pay and benefits we have and the assertion that we should voluntarily accept impoverishment, ill-health, insecurity, and abuse for the benefit of children who in reality would be better off with teachers who had no such concerns and were able to focus their greater energies upon meeting the needs of those children.

On the one side we are battling for our careers against corporate smear campaigns and dunderheaded politicians, and on the other we are trying to unlock the mysteries of a generation of young people who are aggressively resistant to the educational process, who are frequently deficient in curiosity, responsibility, skills, and background knowledge, in a way my colleagues and I cannot recall prior generations being. Quantitatively, this generation reads more, but anecdotally, the evidence is not visible in our daily struggle to energize them for learning. It is the paradox of vast informational resources being combined with a vast lack of motivation to use them. And while we contend with this professional challenge, we are also compelled to battle for our careers as we are publicly characterized as self-serving leeches upon public funds.

This will continue until it stops. What will happen after that? I don’t know. But I am over forty and can’t really retrain for a new career. So I am in this one until I’m told that I’m not. But when public school teachers are pushed out of the arena, then who is actually left to take care of the kids? I don’t know the answer to that.

You can read more about Matt Posner by visiting his official website.

If Matt’s post made you think, you may enjoy this video on YouTube.

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