Education in Pettiness

Lileks has a first-person look at educational bureaucracy in action:

The impact…was like a comet on a town that makes china and cymbals: all the moms at the bus stop today expressed a unanimous desire to remove their children from the system.
Attention, Mayor! Hello, School Board! Here’s your people – they all vote the way you want, they all queue at the polls to pass whatever bills you want, they all support the public schools – and in one stroke, you added to the suspicions caused by the realignment process and turned everyone against you.
To which the school board might well conclude: fine. Take your kids. We’ll keep your money. And when the test scores go down? Proof more money is needed.
They can’t lose. They made the system, after all.

2 thoughts on “Education in Pettiness”

  1. That is why my kids went to private school where we had a stronger say in what happened. They had less glamours facilities but a better education both in their studies and in life. They are much better people for it.
    People wonder why kids (and parents) hate the public school system. That is why I am for the voucher system.

  2. One, idiot school board member does not justify an attack on the entire public education system. I’m not a fan of vouchers, endless standardized tests or blaming public schools for problems for which they aren’t responsible.
    There are countless reasons why some children that “underperform” (whatever that means). They could have lower IQ’s, families that don’t value/enhance/enforce the child’s education, a psychological or emotional problem that interferes with their education, or any combination of the above. Those are much more compelling factors than bureaucracy or teacher’s unions.
    Private schools? I have no problem with them. I went to public elementary schools and a private high school, but I would have been fine either way. Keep in mind that private schools have the luxury of expelling or rejecting problematic students. Public schools are always the educators of last resort, so that needs to be taken into account when you compare them.

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