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No, God damn it, they do not “deserve” more.

A bunch of red-shirted “teachers” are descending on the Indiana Statehouse today to demand more money for what they do, many of whom make better money than my wife and probably a few who make more than I do.

They are overpaid by quite a bit, if you look at their “product”, these days.

There is an idea that if you throw enough money at a problem, you can make it go away.  Certainly this describes our public school systems, which are never satisfied but which must continue to build over-priced palaces of education in which to pamper our youth, who do not realize that comfy physical surroundings and the latest computers and other educational aids do not necessarily contribute to a good and proper education.  Couple that with curricula that seem to have been based on some Ed.D.’s recurring nightmare and which spend more time worrying about diversity and inclusiveness than actually, you know, TEACHING, and you get what we have today:  Young people who aren’t really educated, diplomas that don’t mean what they did when the Boomers were busily being born, universities that are nothing more than remedial high schools unless you were able to avoid the idiocy those high schools “taught”, student loan debt in the stratosphere for degree programs that are absolutely meaningless, and the completion of which are more like left-wing credentials than they are a statement of competence in a useful field of academic endeavor.

The Gramscian Damage perpetuated for the past near-century upon our public schools and universities has ensured that the millennial generation are, by and large (yet, as I have constantly noted, with notable exceptions) a bunch of proto-fascist, socialist dunderheads who can barely function as full members of a dynamic and evolving society.  There is nothing worse than an adult child who knows everything and yet knows nothing.  (Believe me, I was one myself, and I learned better over the years.)

And for this, “teachers” — more like “indoctrinators” — continually demand more pelf from the pockets of the body politic, who already support them to an unconscionable degree, to continue to indoctrinate the children of the body politic, whom they hope will bring true socialism in their days and in their time, amen, selah.

And despite the AFL-CIO’s big graphic I’m seeing on Facebook this morning, it IS about teacher pay.  Let’s run down their list of reasons that try to belie that.

  • Critical Understaffing:  What, 1:40 teacher to class ratio?  That would be doable if they were actually educating and the schools demanded a minimum level of discipline and decorum, and then supported teachers when they enforced it.
  • Growing Class Sizes:  See Critical Understaffing.  For what it’s worth, we had that when I was in my first couple of years in elementary school.  Then the district built another elementary school and moved kids around to lower the ratio.  But even if they hadn’t, so what?  It’s the job.
  • Overwhelming Testing:  Standardized testing developed out of the demonstrated inability of schools to teach to a minimum standard that eighth graders could easily meet in the 1950’s.  If they can’t read, write, or do math when they get out of high school, then testing needs to be done to find deficiencies and improve the product.  Any industry knows that constant testing is vital for quality control.  Well, any industry other than the educational industry, apparently.
  • Unrealistic Workloads and Expectations: See Critical Understaffing and Overwhelming Testing.
  • Ever-Decreasing Funding:  What?  My school district is renovating two of its three middle schools right now as we speak, spending millions for more infrastructure they don’t need.  How is funding decreasing?
  • Deplorable Conditions:  Again, what?  Not in my school district.
  • Crumbling Buildings:  See Deplorable Conditions.
  • Transportation Cuts: See Ever-Decreasing Funding.  You can’t move during school bus hour in this township for all the damn buses taking up the streets.
  • Lack of Support from the Public and Legislators:  That’s because you aren’t doing your fucking job.  You aren’t teaching.  You’re indoctrinating.  And you’re doing a shit job of it, according to the Overwhelming Testing you’re protesting about.  Why would anyone support you?
  • Loss of Funds given to Private and Parochial Schools:  Fuck you.  If they teach better than you do (and they do), then I see no reason why a family’s property taxes for schools can’t be diverted in part to vouchers to help them pay for the best education they can get for their children.
  • Funds Reallocated to For-Profit Charter Schools:  See the previous complaint.  Charter schools are consistently doing a better job than public schools.  Again I see no reason why a family should have to pay property taxes to support schools they don’t choose to use.
  • Adequate and Deserved Compensation:  Not even going into that, because I already did, above.

For some reason, we have come to the conclusion in this country that “no child must be left behind” and that solutions like The New Math (popular when I was a kid) and Common Core (a piece of shit that no school should be using) are how we can do that.  In other words, hold the smart kids back to the level of the least-able.  Sure, that will work.  “Fat, drunk, and Least-Common Denominator is no way to go through life, son,” as Dean Wormer would probably say if he were asked.*

What these LCD programs have done is not educate; they have created boredom and disciplinary issues among smart kids who probably would never have had such problems had they been taught to the highest level they could handle.  The fact is that kids are not all alike, they are not all equally smart, and teaching to the level of the slowest and lowest is a damn poor way to run the educational railroad.  We used to recognize this and not try to stuff every square peg kid into the same round educational hole.

I have stated my opinion, here and there, that we’d be a lot better off if we got rid of all the fancy trappings and went back to teaching the curricula used prior to the 1960s that resulted in eighth-graders having a much better set of tools for life than even a lot of our college graduates have today.

Jerry Pournelle (PBUH) used to start many of his View From Chaos Manor postings with this quote:

If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.

— Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983

I really can’t argue with that.

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* I’m convinced that it’s not that the guy wasn’t wise, it’s just that he was an asshole protecting his fief.  Kind of like all education administrators these days.