T Nation

Education

I just read an article in the NY Post that the NYC Public School system is periously close to having more kids drop out each year then graduate. That number is about 300,000 right now.

They actually listed some cities in the US that do not even have 300,000 residents. NYC is putting a ton of uneducated people out on the street each year. I am sure most urban areas are just as bad.

What’s the solution? The teachers union claims higher pay will make them more effective. Sounds like bullshit to me. Why would you give them a raise for poor performance? The parents seem to have abandoned the kids and most of them are probably dropouts also. I need employees that can read and write and follow written directions. Most of the young people who come into my company looking for work cannot.

I don’t have an answer. Do you just cut these people loose and forget about them? Doesn’t seem like the city has an answer either.

Thoughts or comments?

Hedo,

I’d say this:

  1. I support higher salaries - it’ll attract smarter people.

  2. Break the union monopoly - they want higher wages for worsening performance, the opposite of every other job. The tenure rules, etc. need to be reformed or trashed - these comfortable teachers ned to know they have to do the job or get fired like any other fellow that punches a clock.

  3. Change the curriculum - we’ve dumbed it down. We have therapeutic education nowadays - studies to make you feel better about yourself rather than make you more knowledgable, wiser, or skilled. Focus on real disciplines - math, natural sciences, history, languages - and not the touchy feely crap that wastes students’ time.

  4. Inculcate values - for example, teach people how to communicate properly. Teach that some ideas are, in fact, superior to others rather than just ‘different’.

  1. Bring back corporal punishment.

  2. Stop worrying so much about the students’ “feelings” and bring the concept of success and failure back into the classroom.

  3. Don’t ignore the fact that there are winners and losers in this world and the only way to be a winner is to show up everyday and try hard.

  4. 2 + 2 = 4 this will not change. I don’t care how many times you come up with 5 - you will be wrong every time.

  5. Hire teachers that give a shit. If that means paying more than let’s do that and quit making it so desirable for teachers to move into admin - where they can make a lot more money.

  6. Make the parents give a shit. What benefit is it to a child to live in a home where, in order to pay the bills, mommy and daddy are gone all the time and the kid is closer to the day care lady than his/her own parents.

sorry for the rant.

Rainjack,

To add to one of your good points:

Better discipline at home. Most teachers have to spend crazy energy just trying to get some order in the classroom - there’s not much time left for lessons.

Parents don’t instill any sense of behavior in kids and the schools have become the law of the jungle. Then when teachers step into the gap and try to give them some structure, parents sue.