An Education Rant


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I did something today that I rarely do.  I jumped into a semi-political conversation concerning  the sad state of education in America, and the silly idea that just throwing more money at it will fix it.

We’ve been throwing tons of money into “education” for years, and I’m putting quotes around the word because much of what we invest is not spent on the actual process of teaching and learning.

I am not against extra-curricular programs. I do think they need to be entirely secondary to academics. But that’s really a side issue, in my mind. The real problem is that teachers have had their days consumed with writing up reports, special-needs programs, student discipline papers. And they are required to teach to the test, in order to keep the school’s academic numbers high and thereby keep and/or increase their government funding.

It is very hard to find the time to spend with a student who needs extra help when the teacher’s desk is swamped with all the paperwork that is required of them these days that really has nothing to do with what students are actually learning.

Then there is this problem:


The weight of power has shifted. The child no longer feels he must respect the teacher, because his parents don’t. A teacher is expected to please Junior and Junior’s obedient parents.

There’s a world-view problem going on here, not a money problem.

You will find that in school districts where parents are engaged in the process, and supportive of the teachers, the quality of the education rises.  I’ve talked to way too many teachers who are discouraged, burned out, used up, intimidated and worn out with trying to control unruly, disrespectful, and sometimes physically threatening and violent kids.

Most teachers enter their profession because they (a) love their subject and (b) have a heart for kids.  I believe a good teacher has that gifting from God, and is a priceless asset to any family. Yes, there are poor teachers who should never have entered the profession, but there are thousands more who do it because they love it, love learning, love the kids. It is sad when those teachers quit in discouragement because they get so little support from parents or, sadly, administrators who feel duty-bound to please the parents first.

Money is not the answer, and even if it were the answer, where do we go when the money runs out? Government is funded by taxpayers, not some Money Fairy that sprinkles cash liberally throughout the land. When the taxpayers are tapped out, there’s nowhere else to go, is there?

I didn’t make much money during my  teaching career. I taught in private Christian schools, and money was scarce. Parents often sent us their kids at great personal sacrifice. And yet, we got the job done. We graduated well-educated, well-rounded students who had some respect for authority, for learning, for making it on their own.

That’s what you get with a good education, even if there isn’t a fat bank account behind it.


11 thoughts on “An Education Rant

  1. Education doesn’t seem important anymore. Parents are rude, kids are jerks, and politicians care to spend time and money on other things. I live in NC and teacher pay here is the worst in the country. It is unfortunate that such a vital part of life is being thrown to the wasteside. Teachers deserve so much more and so do out children.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. when I was six, my first day of school, the teacher told me to go home and never come back. I was devastated! My parents, on the other hand, led me back to school and left me there…with the teacher who had never before laid eyes on me. 🙂 Good article…SO true! The only time I ever complained about my own kids’ schooling was once when the lunch lady made my five-year-old throw his lunch in the trash because he was “falling off the stool.” Yes, he was a little clown…but making him throw good food away was not a viable solution.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good heavens, what an awful way to start your schooling! That teacher SHOULD have been reported. I’m usually a very strong supporter of teachers, but this is way beyond the limit of appropriate behavior. My word.


      1. this is joke, a little tale I tell …I said it—but the teacher never did. I just didn’t want to go to school. My parents weren’t buying it though…and hustled my little self right back. They were headed out shopping when they saw me walking up the road by myself. I was six.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My mother is a teacher, so I know exactly what you are talking about. They assign so many classes to one single teacher that all she gets time for is to teach whatever is in the books then dash off to the next class. And a ton of paperwork to do during recess and even at home. My mother tries her best to make sure each child understands the lesson knowing that everyone is not the same but time constraints and workload makes it hard.

    Liked by 1 person

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