You are on page 1of 2

Chicago Teachers Strike—Both Sides Delusional Entrenched delusion is rampant in education.

The dispute between Rahm Emmanuel and the Chicago Teachers Union is a perfect example because both sides are ignoring the truth. Better performance reviews will do nothing to help the “gap” students who are not served by the current education system design. Higher pay and benefits have also had no positive effect on the achievement problem. Advanced education school degrees have had no positive effect on achievement problems. The many “reforms” applied as Band-Aids to “fix” the problem have not worked; RTI, i.e. response to intervention, special ed, ELL (English Language Learner), and on and on have done nothing but greatly increase costs. They have not come to the rescue of students. If you look at the global education situation you quickly realize that the nations who successfully teach their kids “do it differently” than we do. They actually emphasize knowledge. We emphasize process. We say “teach them how to learn, how to think, skills for analyzing.” The stupidity is that our content free, anti-curriculum approach is like providing a central processing unit with no data to operate upon. Thus, when you test for achievement you get poor results. Oh, make no mistake, some kids will learn. However, that is In spite of the schools, not because of their school experiences. Some very small percentage of kids go to charter or private schools where the education orthodoxy of the mainline schools is absent or attenuated. They do better, but the vast majority of kids and especially the “gap” kids continue to be harmed by the current “bit in their teeth” refusal of educators and their political allies to face reality and fix the problem. The Reality   Our system was designed by the Progressives (Dewey) to not teach subjects but to create credulous citizens more prone to accept “expert control” by an all-powerful government. Our education schools have been the Progressives best tool for proliferating the initial design; they teach all process and no subject rigor which is the opposite of the way educators are trained in countries like Finland, Singapore, China, Russia. The education schools diploma mills have been a huge source of revenue for universities. That is why universities have no interest in fixing them. Some very few exceptions like U of Virginia and Hillsdale College do it right but the number of teachers turned out per year from them impact a tiny, tiny percentage of students. Educators believe they are educated when they are not. That is, the education school training has no value for the job at hand. They take predominately the low end of high school graduates and turn them into A students. Do they understand subjects, which is a vital skill needed to teach? No. Do they understand the pedagogy required to teach subjects well? No. Yet, because certifications are almost totally dependent on ed school training, the flood of “unprepared to do the job” educators into the system continues. Educators are grossly overpaid because they have been very effectively represented by their unions and also because the public doesn’t understand the reality and believes that their child’s school and teachers are ok, it is the other schools that have the problem. A very recent study found that teachers are paid 72% more than people with the same skills working in the private sector. The overpaid percentage for admin is estimated to be much higher, especially for those

with ed doctorates, which Arthur Levine in his Educating School Leaders said have no value in any public school admin job. There are other problems that exist but we must understand that the current system is designed not to work but to benefit the adults who work in it. Thus, the current drama in Chicago is a “lose-lose” situation for the kids, no matter which side wins. Paul Richardson