The Vicious Cycle of Ineptitude in Education

Jenny Erikson

blackboardOur education system is a mess, and there is no one thing to blame. Which makes things difficult, because fixing something with several broken parts is more difficult than fixing something with only one or two breaks.

Teachers in Wisconsin have abandoned their classrooms to protest paying a small portion of their medical and retirement benefits to fix the state budget. In New York, teachers guilty of “excessive lateness or absence, sexual misconduct with a student, physical abuse, incompetence, or use of drugs or alcohol” are kept away from the students in rubber rooms, but kept on the payroll. Los Angeles teachers fight to keep their ratings from being publicized. Half the schools in Detroit are shutting down, putting the high school student to teacher ratio at sixty-to-one.

Meanwhile, our kids aren’t getting any smarter. The majority of our kids don’t have a solid grasp on science, have trouble with history and social studies, and don’t have the math skills to compete on an international level.

And parents? Parents all want to believe their little darlings are the brightest, bestest, and prettiest of all, and any teacher that fails to recognize that must be incompetent. It seems that self-esteem is more important these days than an actual education.

What is going on? Who’s to blame for all this fail in our schools: The teachers, the students, the parents, or Sarah Palin? If we have to lay blame somewhere, I propose we point the finger at an elitist entitlement society that places more importance on kids’ feelings than on academics or respect for others.

We have kids that have no respect for authority, parents that would rather be friends with their progeny than parents, and teachers that are increasingly frustrated with ever-increasing class sizes full of the little monsters. Teachers that simply give up on trying to do a good job are nearly impossible to fire, and outrageous pension plans and too many administrators create a financial strain on the system and make it impossible to hire better teachers.

Parents and teachers need to work together to educate our kids. Bad teachers need to be replaced. Kids need to be taught the value of learning and to respect authority figures. If we can achieve that, we can achieve academic excellence.


Image via woodleywonderworks/Flickr

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