March 7, 2011 Leave a comment
The Detroit Free Press has an article today detailing cheating by teachers in state MEAP exams. What’s incredible is that so many Michigan students fail those MEAP exams despite cheating by at least 1-2% of teachers. Keep in mind here in Michigan the state recently admitted that they dumbed down the test to the point that on some portions 40% was a passing grade. Nearly half of Michigan 11th graders aren’t proficient in reading, math or science and two thirds aren’t proficient in writing. This despite cheating taking place at some schools. The teachers are so bad, they can’t even cheat properly.
Meanwhile in the Grand Rapids Press teachers are whining about being the scapegoat in politics. Apparently it’s unacceptable to hold teachers accountable for the poor job they do. They’re upset that state governments, particularly ones run by conservative Republicans, want to cut their pay and benefits. One teacher whines about how teachers are unemployed during the summer and that taxpayers just don’t understand that fact. I suppose it’s true, taxpayers don’t understand why teachers whine being ‘unemployed’ over the summer when they earn over $54,000 a year on average. Their benefits don’t go away during the summers either.
Teachers put themselves in the position of being scapegoat in two ways. First and foremost they became patrons of the Democrat Party by joining a government employee union. In doing that, they immediately became suspicious to Republicans and many independent voters. Teachers whine about not being respected by parents but when you’re part of an extremely vocal and extremely liberal union you can’t be surprised when conservative parents don’t like what they hear.
But the real problem for teachers is that they have spent a century telling parents to trust them with children. They’ve claimed to be experts and that their methods are proven and that professional teachers know what they’re doing. However the test results prove otherwise. The test results prove that over 80% of Michigan high school graduates aren’t prepared for college. Even in supposedly good schools, upwards of 60% aren’t prepared for college. MEAP scores prove that children aren’t learning basics, even with the test dumbed down to absurd levels. In short, teachers just aren’t doing a very good job. They blame everyone else, it’s parents, the administration, Republicans or school board. It’s never the fault of teachers.
Education is a service industry, even though the socialist government schools want to pretend that it isn’t. The fact is if customers aren’t pleased with the product produced, you can’t be surprised when they complain. In this case, taxpayers and parents are the customer and teachers are the ones producing the product. The test scores prove that the product produced just isn’t very good. I dare say the fact that the curriculums used, which are decidedly left-wing, also point to the poor product being produced.
In a free market, most of these schools would be shut down because no one would want to send their kids to a failing, horrible school. In the socialist government school system, most parents can’t afford to make a choice. Think about it, would you send your kid to a school that can’t teach children how to read? Would you send them to a school that can’t produce graduates ready for college at even a 10% rate? Of course you wouldn’t. Yet the government schools demand more money, want to prevent schools of choice and they have the audacity to whine about being scapegoats when taxpayers and parents dare to complain about the shoddy product they produce.
In any other customer service industry if there isn’t good service or a good product people will first complain and then they won’t buy the product anymore. The socialist left will declare this can’t apply to schools and I must ask why not. Why should millions of children suffer with a subpar education to suit the socialists in the teachers union? Why should millions of parents be denied freedom of choice when it comes to their kids education? Why should taxpayers continue to fund a system that clearly fails? The left will scream that education is to important to leave to market forces. I say education is to important not to leave to market forces. American education is the perfect example of why socialism fails.