I’ve always had an interest in politics and education, and I’ve noticed the ways policies affect the classroom, especially in performance and funding, in ways officials might not have considered. For example…
- Basing teacher ratings on an additional test for students means there is less time for classwork, and you’re testing students exhausted by the state test.
- Penalties for poor student performance can reward schools for pushing out struggling students.
- Mandating funding in one category means there are fewer resources available elsewhere.
- If mental health professionals, coaches and advisers are mandated to be in school, they need workspace to be in.
- When funding comes with conditions, it comes with incentives the stakeholders might not realize.
Years ago, there was a British documentary in which comedians discussed the most controversial topics (Chavs, intellectual disabilities, racism, Mohammed, etc.) I’m thinking that education would be the most controversial topic. There’s a few reasons for this.
- Mistakes matter. If we get something wrong, the next generation will not be able to reach their potential.
- Education intersects with other hot-button issues (race, sexuality, religion, politics, income, which ways of life are encouraged.)
- Schools will be a big influence on how students see the world just as they’re coming into their own views.
- This one’s obvious, but parents care deeply about their kids, regardless of their economic status, religion, etc.
- Resources are finite. Parents want to make sure their kids get a share.
- Schools and teachers have an “official” say on controversial topics.
- There are about 3.6 million full-time teachers in the United States, and millions more employed by schools; many are in Unions.
There’s plenty to argue about, but nothing gets people as heated as when their child’s future is at stake.