FIRST THINGS FIRSTBy Margaret BrogleyBelow is an article written by a teacher who has the wisdom of years behind her words. She asks when will the taxpayers ever demand "first things first?" Because building means opportunity for kickbacks, building will continue to be a priority until the corruption rampant in education is exposed. And as long as teacher abuse helps to keep our administrators in a position of no accountability, the taxpayers' voices will continue to be ignored. Sadly wisdom simply has no place in education anymore, and voices such as hers will soon be extinct unless we join together to end the corruption in education. As we dispose of good teachers, we need more and more money to compensate. However, nothing compensates for good teaching. NAPTA
With all other educational expenses we are expected to spend another billion or more on buildings. Why? What relation does that have with educational improvement? Consider two scenarios.
First: I began teaching more than sixty years ago in southern Arkansas in tiny farm village. The small school had no indoor plumbing; we used the outhouse behind the home ec building. There was a wood stove I had to stoke each morning before students came. I was also the janitor of my building.
Second: While teaching in London, a group of us teachers decided to visit Eton College, the school of future kings. As the headmaster led us into one of the great halls, he called our attention to the lack of heat, saying, "You see, we need none for the walls are four feet thick." I thought, "Yes, I see," as I stood there shivering in my fur-lined boots wearing a wool suit and sweater plus a heavy topcoat!
Would I wish either scenario on today's students? No, they're too pampered. However, I must say that my pupils had no problems studying or making change for they had been taught traditional academics before John Dewey's philosophy reached them. There were no discipline problems, and apparently Eton was sufficient for kings.
If the above-mentioned students could learn in such primitive conditions, why spend a fortune one school buildings? Ten million is planned for a survey and one billion for buildings. Will the expenses improve education? Not likely, but they will greatly increase taxes.
Education will never improve until we first return to traditional education. So far, the educrats refuse.
When will the taxpayers ever demand that first things come first?