on the state of public education

The fiasco that is increasingly the norm in public education in the United States is not particularly a partisan issue, as far as I can tell, though of course the teacher unions are among the biggest donors to the Democrat Party and its candidates. It doesn’t seem to be paying off.

Anyway, the increasingly centralized control of public schools is creating a situation where actual teaching seems to be stifled more and more in favor of reading scripts to students and running through checklists of curricular activities. There’s a huge difference between standards in the sense of “Here’s what students need to learn; teach it to them” and “Here’s what we want you to teach students and here’s how it has to be taught to them.” Unfortunately the latter approach seems to be the favored one by the current administrative Zeitgeist.

It’s driving good teachers out of the field, as this article out of Florida describes. If my impression of the situation in the two other states where I’ve had close contact with public school teachers is any indication, though, there’s nothing particularly unique about Florida.

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