President Barack Obama has now weighed in on education, appearing this morning on NBC’s “Today” show. Obama’s position on education is that we need a longer school year and teachers who can’t or won’t teach “have to go.”
Associated Press White House correspondent Ben Feller has posted an article titled “Obama: Money alone can’t solve school predicament.” And so it cannot.
As usual, I have some problems with Obama’s assessment of the situation, although I do agree with him that the status quo is unacceptable.
First, education is no place for a union. Unions protect incompetency. They make rules that keep people working and guarantee salaries at a certain level whether deserved or not. People who are pro-union have a mantra that a person who has a job deserves that job no matter what the situation. I don’t like unions, but I understand the need for them sometimes. My father was a steelworker and was in a union. Had it not been for the union, the workers would have been pushed around.
However, education, teaching, should come from a desire to help children grow. Many teachers are incompetent and, worse, when given the chance, don’t do anything to improve. I agree with Obama they need to go. Teachers, though, need to answer to an independent governing body, and unions, as I say, have no place on the scene.
What about a longer school year? I don’t see the value in doing more wrong. If you are failing teaching children, why do more of it until you can improve that which you are already doing? That is the ultimate in illogical thinking.
The problems with the educational system are known; that isn’t the problem. Teachers are not held accountable. School districts are not held accountable and, sadly, parents aren’t accountable. Students are cast adrift without any direction as well because they have no one to mirror.
Why is it that private schools and Catholic schools get the job done? It is because the parents want the students there and are willing to invest time and money to keep them there. Teachers are not protected by unions and schools are not protected by governments.
I would also say that our motives — keeping up with the world — are wrong. We should be teaching our children because we want to do right by them, not because they are a “resource.”
It is that simple.
Associated Press Website, Ben Feller, “Obama: Money alone can’t solve school predicament”