Sunday, November 20, 2011

Politically Getting Educational Reform Right

The problem with people who run for congress is that they tend to know very little about how our educational system in this country works. If they were among the lucky, they found a teacher who after hours of working in overcrowded classrooms and grading papers late into the night for slave wages made time for them during school hours. If they were one of the unlucky students, they found an overworked undertrained underpaid failure, who should never have been allowed into a classroom in the first place.

Should failures in the teaching profession be fired? Not everyone is destined to be a teacher. First all employees should receive proper training in their profession. Just because you have a special skill that you are good at does not make you a trained educator. They should be given the support by their administration. They should be given feedback about where they are doing well and where they can improve. They should be supplied with the materials and time they need to do a good job when it comes to our children’s education. If after all of this occurs then yes, fire someone who cannot or will not learn from their mistakes.

Paying our educators a good salary is important because it attractes higher skilled more knowledgeable employees. Anyone with a brain knows that educators are paid far too little for the job they occupy. The problem with this is that we spend millions of taxpayer’s dollars on educational salaries each year. Why are we not getting a bigger bang for our buck? The federal government like the state drops large sums of money into a pot and then tells local administration to spend it on educational salaries. As a result administration has six figure salaries while most school systems cannot afford to pay teachers who work in the classroom a livable wage. Yet the first thing you always hear out of a candidate’s mouth is that they will continue the practice on pain of death.

Educators know that this attitude will not change the system anytime in the future. At some point, someone with half a brain needs to understand that the best way to fix the problem is to split administrational salaries from educator’s salaries in the future. The school administration should keep control of the educational salaries at the local level while the administrational salaries are determined at a higher level in the system.

As for affordable, education should be cost effective. Students should be able to pay off their student loans within four years of graduating college. This means that anyone that graduates from a college should have the skills to get a job in the real world. Unless someone is so rich that they do not need the money, in which case they do not need student loans in the first place, then they should only be trained in marketable skills. Rich people or people supported by rich people should continue to be trained in fields that enhance our cultural development. Taxpayers should not be expected to spend their hard earned dollars on studies that do not contribute to the skill levels of our current or future workforce.