How to really reform American education
I don't understand the recent hostility directed toward teachers unions.
It is said that unions prevent schools from getting rid of "bad" teachers. Who are all these bad teachers anyway?
When I add up all the years my children and I have spent in schools, it amounts to nearly 40 years of education. In all that time, I've encountered maybe two teachers that I believed to be incompetent. Pretty good track record, I'd say.
Without a union, what would prevent a good teacher from being fired because he or she doesn't belong to the "right" political party? What would protect a teacher from a rich, powerful parent who would insist their undeserving child receive an A? Finally, how could a teacher get a decent wage without a union to back them up?
The recent war on state workers shows that many people want to pay teachers next to nothing and expect them to provide superlative service.
American complacency and laziness are responsible for our school's problems. We love to point fingers - we're fat because fast food places serve cheeseburgers. If we get sick, it's the doctor's fault - let's take him to court. Never mind that we drink, smoke, overeat. Our philosophy seems to be: It Is Not Our Own Fault. Ever.
There will never be education reform until there is parent-student reform. If you want to prepare your child for the hard times ahead, put away the remote. Help your child make flashcards and drill them until they know the material. There is a nice, big building on Main Street called a library. It has books. You and your child could read and discuss them together. Make your kid study. That's the real reform.
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