Monday, January 08, 2007

Ever the Pessimist

Some would have you believe that the teaching ranks of public education are incompetent. If a student doesn't learn, it is strictly the fault of the teacher. It has nothing to do with underfunded schools that have class sizes over thirty. It has nothing to do with outdated programs. It has nothing to do with parental involvement.
If this is the case, then the estimated 50 billion dollars the government has underfunded NCLB by is of little importance.
I'm usually not one to complain about teacher salaries. Would I like more? Yes. But the truth in my mind is that I have it pretty good. Yes, I think that we provide an absolutely essential service to our communities, and that our pay doesn't reflect the value of that service. Sure, there are those who have equivalent training but don't make as much. I'd say that our task is more important to society.
But, teacher pay increase will never happen the way it should. So, when Democrat or Rebuplican leaders start talking about underfunding NCLB, I tend to get a little pessimistic. The reason isn't only because I believe teachers wouldn't benefit from that monetary increase; it is also because there are few areas that the government has been successful at overseeing. I believe that the bigger the organization, the less likely it will run effectively, no matter how much money is dumped into it.
The issue of NCLB is not ineffective teachers, low standards, or lack of funding. The real problem behind NCLB is that not everyone involved is held accountable. For those who are clearly anti-teacher, go ahead and argue that social status and parental influence is of little importance in whether a student learns that the letter 'a' makes the long 'a' sound and the short 'ah' sound in c-a-t (c-at)! You can argue until you have nothing left to give. This teacher won't ever buy into NCLB completely until all parties are held accountable.


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