The Ragin' Mrs. and I were having dinner over at the neighbor's house, and the topic of public education came up. Needless to say, I don't think they'll ever discuss that topic around me again, if they ever invite me over again. I got a little vocal. OK, a lot vocal. Bottom line is, the publik skool sistim is messed up. Probably not salvageable. It needs to be scrapped and redesigned from the bottom up. And the first thing to do is to change who is allowed to teach, and why.
Meanwhile, we learn that those “credentialed” teachers so prized by
courts and teachers’ unions compare very unfavorably to people credentialed in other professions. To become “credentialed,” teachers have to major in education. According to economist Walter Williams: “Students who have chosen education as their major have the lowest SAT scores of any other major. Students who have graduated with an education degree earn lower scores than any other major on graduate school admissions tests such as the GRE, MCAT or LSAT. Schools of education, either graduate or undergraduate, represent the academic slums of most any university. As such, they are home to the least able students and professors with the lowest academic respect." California
Clearly, too many “credentialed” teachers don’t know much. Or, to paraphrase
humorist Tim Sample: “They don’t even suspect much.” The slow ones – and trust me, there are a lot of slow ones in public education – don’t want any light shining on just how slow they are. That’s why they fight standardized testing for teachers. The first time Maine forced new teachers to take a basic competency test in 1998, an astonishing 59% of them failed. These were college graduates (education majors) taking a test that Massachusetts House Speaker Thomas Finneran said: “a reasonably educated ninth grader could pass.” Massachusetts
Former Boston UniversityPresident and Massachusetts Board of Education Chairman John Silber wanted to eliminate teacher certification, or “credentialing” as calls it, because it was keeping really bright people out of the teaching profession. However, teachers’ unions blocked him. Why would unions favor credentialing when they disdain standardized tests? Because it’s easy to pass college education courses and difficult to pass standardized tests which cannot be fudged. I’ll bet a lot of the 59% who flunked the teacher test graduated with honors from their college education departments. Grade inflation there is rampant. California
If it weren't for three teachers at my high school, I would have dropped out, gotten a GED and moved on with my life. It was that worthless. Most of the important knowledge I have I learned after I left that particular hell hole. I can't think if anything that a publik skool does that a private school can't do better with less money. Everyone always swoons when they hear how much private school costs. Really? Does anyone look to see how much is being spent per student in the publik skool sistim? In many cases, it is MORE than the tuition of a private school. My niece goes to a private school, and the tuition is around $7,000 a year. That's a nice chunk of change, no doubt. But the publik skool sistim where they live spends approximately $8,000 a year PER STUDENT.
And yet publik skool students as a rule cannot begin to compare with private school students. Someone is getting ripped off. Us.
At this point, I can't think of any good reason to keep America's publik skool sistim in place. It's failing, miserably, time and time again. It doesn't need more money, it needs a complete and total overhaul. And the teacher's unions need to be taken out back and shot for the good of the country.