Everyone is talking about schools these days, and worrying about the performance of students on standardized tests. Many point the finger at teachers, the ones in the classroom preparing students to take standardized tests. It is their fault if students don’t do well. Logical, right?
There are many teachers out there, some more experienced than others, some better at their jobs than others. Just like everyone else. It’s easy to blame teachers when scores drop, without looking at factors such as test design, student motivation, parent support, and administrative direction. But who put these teachers, good and bad, in the classroom?
Who has the sole power to hire and fire in a school district? The school board. School boards are made up of citizens who are put in office by voters. So, if voters are unhappy with the choices that school boards are making, who should they blame? Who is ultimately responsible for putting a teacher in a classroom?
Politicians are waving the “Get the Bad Teacher” flag. They are not going to blame voters, or they will lose their next election. It’s much safer for them to say, “Gee, these teachers aren’t doing what they are supposed to do. It’s all their fault.”
Teachers are supervised by school boards, superintendents, principals, and assistant principals. They are watched by parents and students. Their professionalism is questioned every day. More and more of them are less and less experienced, because experienced teachers cost more money. Money that school districts don’t have.
Then there is the nepotism factor. In these tough economic times, school boards are “taking care” of their constituents. Somebody’s son, daughter, neice, brother, or cousin needs a job. A probationary employee loses their job so someone who is “connected” can be hired. It’s technically legal, because school boards can “non-re-elect” a probationary employee without giving a reason. They can imply that there is a problem without actually saying there is a problem. And a teacher’s union can’t protect a probationary employee from this practice.
So, if there are a disproportionate number of teachers in classrooms without the experience necessary to lead us into this new millenium, and school boards have all the power to hire and fire, and they are trying to balance a budget that is dependent on public money, who is ultimately responsible for our declining public educational system? Look in the mirror.
Are you willing to pay more taxes so that school boards can pay to hire qualified, experienced teachers, and supply them with the materials they need and the facilities they need to do the job properly? Are you willing to get involved and find out what your local school board is doing, and hold them accountable? Are you willing to take responsibility for our public education system? Because it doesn’t work properly without your support.