Holding people accountable is an ugly process – especially in politics. It’s never fun to have to deal with the negative realities and consequences of bad behavior and bad policy. Nowhere is the political process more distasteful than in the public school system.
For those who are supporters of the large and growing school reform movement in the United States, local school board meetings can be a sight to behold. In my experience the boards are dominated by allies of the status quo that owe their election to teacher union and other pay-to-play donors.
The meetings I’ve attended are attended mostly by individuals who are hostile to any hint of change – employees of the system or those who contract with it. For the most part they consider their job and their generous benefits or business relationship as guaranteed entitlements and could care less whether the taxpayers can afford them or not.
When it comes to curriculum issues, the more you learn, the worse it gets. When Laurie Higgins publicly raises concerns about the schools being used as propaganda centers for leftwing ideologies, she’s viciously attacked. The way she’s attacked brings to front and center the character of many of the individuals that are paid well to educate children.
Health care legislation right now is getting a lot of attention, but concerned citizens need to realize that there are several policy fronts that need to be fought on as well. And as with health care, education will be affected by those we elect. If you want ObamaCare, you vote for Democrats. If you want a consumer driven health care system, you vote for – who? The answer is for competent Republicans.
The same competent Republicans are needed to honestly deal with the mess that is the public school system.
Exposing the problem is only one part of the task, of course, and that job could be made easier if the news media practiced real journalism. The major newspapers are managed by people whose worldviews keeps them from reporting too much about the failures of big government and big government schools.
For what’s really going on in the schools you’re going to have to turn to other sources, and to Laurie Higgins’ work at the Illinois Family Institute’s Division of School Advocacy. Her latest article is:
Americans have the government we have because of a gigantic personnel problem. There is too little professionalism or genuine accountability. We’re never going to see improvement unless people muster the will – and the fight – and take on the messy work of calling for real reform.
©2010 John Francis Biver