Conservative News & Commentary

Oct 11, 2014 — by: P. Henry
Categories: Economics, Government, Culture

Grumpy teacher

Public teachers often get a pass. They get to claim their main reason for being a public school teacher is that they care about the kids and that they love teaching. While they may complain about the work at times, how difficult students can be, if we dare challenge this core motive — caring for children — we are instantly made out to be demons with horns and pitch fork.

However, it is my belief that for most public school teachers this is a smoke screen, that caring for students and their education is not their core motive. So how do I prove to you my hypothesis, that most public school teachers really care more about something else than their students and their education? It can be done with two simple questions.

When you have the chance ask a public school teacher the following:

  1. If you could vastly improve the education (quality) and graduation rates (quantity) of students in the public school system, would you do it? If they answer yes (which they should), then you ask the second question.
  2. If it could be proven that disbanding the public teachers union and eliminating the monopoly of public schools vastly improves the education quality and graduation rates of students, would you be for it? Would you do it?

It is this second question that will most likely cause immediate bristling and some snide remark to push your idea aside as nothing but pure fantasy. Note, both questions are hypothetical. Both questions start with “If”. The first question asks the teacher if they really care about the students education. The second question asks them the where that care for students sits in comparison to other priorities, namely their job security, automatic annual wage increases, enormous benefits package and immunity from losing their jobs due to poor or mediocre performance. The second question is the revealer of their true motives.

The problem for the teacher is the second question isn’t hypothetical, and deep down they know it. It can be proven time and time again, educational institutions that are not protected monopolies (like public school systems are) which compete in the marketplace for students, and those educational institutions that are without teachers’ unions produce far better quality of students and a higher percentage of graduates.

Now to be fair — and we try to do that here at — there will be some teachers (a very few) that agree with the second question. But the vast majority of public teachers who answer the first question in the affirmative, will fight tooth and nail to ensure the second question’s idea never sees the light of day. This little test will help you see the truth.

Now the real question

What are you going to do? Are you going to continue to reward a system where personal job security trumps educational quality? While we all want job security, the cost the public school system charges for it in Klamath County is a miserable graduation rate of around 67% (that's a D grade in school terms). Other institutions, such as private schools and home schools cost less than half to educate students than the public school system, and these educational groups do a much better job of educating students. Again, half the cost, better education. If quality education helps ensure a bright future for our children, we should do everything we can to ensure quality education and above 90% graduation rates. Otherwise we will create a future population that is uniformed and uneducated. As Thomas Jefferson said not too long ago, educating and informing all the people is the only sure way to preserve our liberty.

“Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.”

No matter how bad it seems, what must come first is to fix the education problem. Buildings and teachers wages are not the main driver for achieving great education, but eliminating the public school system monopoly on education funding and teachers’ unions should be job #1. It’s for our children. It’s for our nation’s future.

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