Are we at the end of our tether with public schooling as private schools, religious schools and school vouchers try to replace our traditional education system?
A couple of months ago, I wondered aloud about our American public education problem in a comments stream:
People used to become teachers because they were born to do it. You’d see entire families of teachers because it was in their blood.
People do have to live, though, and very few public school teachers are paid handsomely… let alone a living wage… and so those teaching now suck the idealism and altruism out of the next generation of teachers.
Who would want to be paid nothing for a thankless job — especially now when parents have 24/7 access to a teacher’s email and a reserved spot “for observation” in your classroom?
It becomes a constant harassment from which you cannot escape and if you try to discipline a child then you have the other children on you as well as the parents and so you find the easiest way is to end up doing nothing and pushing the children along from grade to grade just so you, and the public school system, can survive in a hostile and thankless world.
If we continue to underpay public school teachers while increasing their workload and teaching obligations and parents baby sitting — what hope can we hold for a mature and ripening middle class?
It is the middle class in America that prevents a shearing of interest between the upper class and the poor. With a solid middle, democracy itself implodes as the temptations of survival rival any sense of lawfulness and disinterested investment.
Sharing our private morals creates our cultural values and our public wants — and when a wide range of people examine those tenets of a community — we begin to create context and understanding and tolerance is the result of that ongoing negotiation between conflicted belief systems.
If we narrow our educational teaching to the Madrassa, the military academy or the private prep school — are we creating a better education for our kids, or are we really making worse citizens through isolation and non-heuristic social interaction?