A teacher interacts with her students at a school in California.
Daniel B. Coupland, Tribune News Service
The pandemic-related chaos of the last two years exposed a decadeslong scandal in American education: Bureaucrats from the education establishment have failed those communities they claim to serve. When students were forced to remain home during the COVID-19 lockdowns and online instruction was streamed into their homes, many parents — who send their children to school to learn math, history, literature, science, art and more — were understandably aghast by what they heard and saw. They witnessed weak, content-free instruction. Last year, parents unenrolled their children from traditional public schools in record numbers — marking the largest decline in a century.
Most Americans know by now that K-12 teachers are underpaid, overworked and underappreciated, but few acknowledge the fact that they are also overregulated. Even now, teachers are hamstrung by rigid, top-down mandates from government administrators and policymakers far removed from local schools and communities. This omnipresent oversight from bloated, multilevel educational bureaucracies, along with an unhealthy and oppressive overemphasis on testing, has made the central work of teachers — educating students — nearly impossible. No wonder many educators are leaving the profession in what amounts to a crippling exodus, robbing many students of the excellent teachers they deserve. Many within the education establishment deflect criticism of their radical agenda by using students and teachers as shields. They claim to be acting on behalf of schools, but don’t be fooled: Their highest priority is protecting their own positions of power and influence as they push the newest, half-baked educational fads alongside ideological agendas. The education establishment does many things poorly. But what it is very good at is protecting itself.
But most educators don’t choose to become teachers so that they can serve as laboratory technicians for educational experimentation and foot soldiers for ideologues. They accept the low pay, long hours and difficult work that come with the profession because they recognize the lasting impact of learning on their own lives and want the same for future generations of students. So, what’s the solution? Freedom. Local school leaders — who are accessible and accountable to the communities they serve — should be free to hire, train, cultivate and retain the kind of people they need to do the difficult work in schools. While the demand for teachers continues to grow, the pool of applicants needs to expand beyond the alarming status quo. Currently, the education establishment controls the supply of potential teachers through unproven, irrelevant and unnecessary certification requirements — essentially acting like a modern-day medieval guild. Teachers should be free to teach. Under the direction of local school leaders, educators need space to cultivate the intellectual and moral growth of their students without the heavy hand of a distant, self-serving education establishment.
Teachers should be free to use their natural and developed gifts to teach a robust curriculum in science, literature, mathematics, the arts, history, physical education and civics. This is the kind of schooling experience that students deserve, parents desire and society demands. Most importantly, it’s precisely the type of education that can provide students the best chance to attain the knowledge and skills they’ll need to embark on a life of learning.
We at Hillsdale College believe that a classical education returns honor and dignity to the teacher by asking teachers to serve as role models for the kind of human beings that students should ultimately become. For this reason, we focus on who teachers are, not just what they can do. Hillsdale doesn’t offer majors in “education” because we want all of our undergraduates to have the experience of being grounded in at least one academic field of study. We choose not to offer a typical certification program because the standards for these programs reflect the same agenda of the education establishment. Instead, we offer our students an optional minor in classical education that includes a small selection of content-rich courses in education that any undergraduate may take.
The British education system seems to just get better and better! Back when I was a school pupil I had exams at the end of every year. The exams at 14, or thereabouts, were crucial for schoolteachers in order for them to know what level we were at and to
Union leaders representing Chicago's striking teachers said on Wednesday that they approved a tentative contract deal with the school district but that they would not to return to work until the mayor agrees to make up for instructional days lost during the 10-day walkout.
Days after losing her younger sister in a bomb attack on the school in Kabul that both girls attended, Farzanah Asghari stood by the 15-year-old’s grave and quietly wept.
Commenting on the completion of the programme, Dr Rabaa Al Sumaiti, Director-General of the Emirates Schools Establishment, said, "The NCBP provides critical skills for teachers through an interactive platform and contributes to the development of a qualified pool of moral education teachers..."
Changes of government in the states as a result of defection of groups of legislators or even entire parties have not been unusual in India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi led his Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies to power eight years ago. Needless to say the BJP was usually the major beneficiary of these changes,
It is great news that Saudi Arabia has opened to collect Umrah pilgrimage form from the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has announced that those who obtain tourist visas and commercial visas will now be allowed to submit papers (“Commercial and tourist visa holders can now perform Umrah,” Gulf Today, Aug.14).
A depressing and pathetic battle is going on in a Los Angeles courtroom to win control of the paltry belongings of the notorious murderer and cult leader Charles Manson. All that is at stake in the dispute over his will are the clothes he owned and maybe two or three guitars — the stuff he had at Corcoran State Prison when
Sometimes you read an article about some project, and it really grabs your attention and brings about a total change in your perspective about how you view the world. The Extreme Ice Survey is one such project, and the documentary, Chasing the Ice, based on this project, is recommended as a must-read and