Case study: How state legislatures and school administrators damage schools, the students they serve, and America

May 17, 2011

The bruises from my broken nose are fading — two black eyes eventually resulted — but the smarting remains.  Especially I’m smarting because we have been unable to move either of the students to places where they can be helped, and get educated.

But I don’t think that colors my view that this example, from JD 2718, demonstrates how much damage unthinking legislatures and administrators can do to a school, to students who attend the school, and our entire education system, quickly, and probably without recourse.  Nor is there much hope for recovery:

Superintendent threatens principal for offering teacher tenure

A good teacher, one we need to have in the classroom, was offered tenure as promised.

President Reagan’s Commission on Excellence in Education wrote about a “rising tide of mediocrity” in education.  They said that our students’ achievement levels were in trouble, and that it was our own fault.  Had a foreign nation done that damage to U.S. education, they wrote, we might consider it an act of war.

And so it is that the war continues on American education, a war conducted by home grown . . . administrators, and state legislators.

We have met the enemy, Pogo said, and he is us.


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