Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Problem With Schools: Corruption

My wife worked at a poor school in Dallas ISD, and what she observed there makes me come to the conclusion that the problem with poorer schools is the presence of rampant corruption. More money is spent per student in poor, underperforming schools than is spent in districts that do much better. Why is that? It's because of what nobody wants to talk about: corruption. The AC and the heat were often out in my wife's school, and people would come and look at things and do nothing. No doubt they were getting paid just as much to look and do nothing as others were paid in better-performing schools to actually fix those things. Who can teach under those conditions? Also, teacher authority is completely undermined by everyone. The student and parents have more authority than the teacher. Nobody believes anything the teacher says -- it is assumed that the teacher is lying, not the student, if it comes down to a confrontation between the two. Administration treats teachers terribly. This is further exacerbated by the fact that there's no discipline, and without discipline, learning will not occur. (It is no mistake that "discipline" and "disciple" -- pupil -- are derived from the same word.) Schools need to tell parents to shut up and let the teachers teach, that they either need to help their child learn, or get out of the way. Any parent who utters the words, "My child would never . . ." should be banished from the school grounds for the rest of the year.
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