I recently viewed the education documentary "Waiting for Superman". The film makes one thing crystal clear: that the main problem with our public school education system is the teachers unions. It is self-evident that throwing more and more money into the Department of Education over the years has not solved the issues in relation to our educational system. Our educational system is broken.
One person who is trying to change our broken education system is Michelle Rhee. She is trying to pick up those shattered pieces, to repair them, and stand up for the kids so they are taught the skills to have a chance at being successful in their adult life. But unfortunately the system and unions bucked her efforts. For decades the unions have been creating generations of children who will be dependent on the government because of the teachers having no clear incentive to teach well. Maybe this is because the Democrats' are in the teachers unions pockets and they believe in Big Government and want to create an atmosphere where multitudes of adults are dependent on the government they put on a pedestal?
One of the main problems with the teachers unions is that the teachers have a total lack of accountability. It doesn't matter to the unions if there are teachers who are incompetent and not meeting certain standards because as the head of of the NTA stated they are "against proposals that divide people". This statement is bizarre! She wants both good and bad teachers to be treated the same. This type of thinking is exactly why our education system is so screwed up. There are no incentives for being a good teacher. I mean one would think that all teachers are duty bound to teach their kids properly. But, I guess both the lackadaisical attitude and this I-am-owed-something attitude has spread so rampantly amongst all Democratically controlled sectors of employment that it has become quite infectious to the detriment of both past and present generations. These teachers unions want all teachers to be treated like robots who were all programmed the same. Couldn't they at least be all programmed to be good teachers instead of a preponderance of them sucking so bad I wonder how the heck they passed tests to become teachers in the first place?
Michelle Rhee founded an organization called Students First. Here is the website. Their mission statement is:
Our mission is to build a national movement to defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform, so that America has the best education system in the world.
Students First has put together some statistics which are quite alarming.
"The literacy rates among fourth grade students in America are sobering. In a recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, one out of three students scored "below basic" on the 2009 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) Reading Test. Among these low performing students, 49 percent come from low-income families. Even more alarming is the fact that more than 67 percent of all US fourth graders scored "below proficient," meaning they are not reading at grade level.
"Reading proficiency among middle and high school students isn't much better. On the 2009 NAEP Reading Test, about 26 percent of eighth graders and 27 percent of twelfth graders scored below the "basic" level, and only 32 percent of eighth graders and 38 percent of twelfth graders are at or above grade level."
It is going to be hard for our kids to compete in the global market for jobs such engineers, scientists, physicians, and creative entrepreneurs when according to an assesment by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development finds that 15-year-olds in the U.S. placed 25th out of 30 countries in math performance and 21st in science performance.
Test scores have not improved in decades. "In April 2009, Education Week reported that average math and reading scores for 17-year-olds in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests have remained stagnant since the 1970s. And according to The Journal, fourth- and eighth-grade reading scores "have barely budged since 1992," despite policy and investment focused on improving overall student achievement."
This is a serious problem which must be addressed and cannot be kicked down the road because of unions demands. And, let me take a huge leap here and say that our public education system's priority is supposed to be about the kids, teaching them the skills to excel and succeed in life and NOT about the adults. Teachers need to be held accountable for their job performance, like other jobs. We cannot afford to drop the ball on this as we have done in the past because if we do the United States will no longer be a global leader of innovation for our children won't even have a clue what that word means let alone understand the concepts of hard work and responsibility.