The View From 1776
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Schools Are Bad and Will Get Worse
The nation’s teachers colleges, impregnable bastions of John Dewey’s progressive education, stifle local efforts to give our children better futures.
Where school-choice voucher programs have been used, educational results have improved. But the Catholic parochial schools, which in many cities became the schools of choice, are under intense financial pressure. Local dioceses are closing many of them to cut operating costs. From now on, there will be fewer effective alternative spots for getting a good education, even if school-choice programs are enacted more widely.
New York City’s much bruited reforms under Mayor Michael Bloomberg have given school administrators more latitude to hire, promote, and compensate teachers on the basis of performance, rather than union-shop seniority. But the bottom-line results in children’s learning remain disappointing.
Mr. Stern explains why, astonishingly, socialist-to-the-core Massachusetts has produced the best record of improvement in the nation. The key, as common sense ought to inform us, is making teachers teach basic subjects effectively, rather than corrupting students with anti-American falsehoods and feel-good nonsense such as the religion of recycling and world socialist solidarity through the UN.
Why have other states been less successful than Massachusetts?
The impenetrable road block is the nation’s college schools of education, which remain immersed in John Dewey’s progressive education, a blend of Soviet educational doctrine and the conceptions of French Revolutionary philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau. Only Massachusetts, to date, has been blessed with a state educational authority that understands the nature of the problem and has exercised the power to deal with it.
For additional background on Mr. Stern’s analysis, read The Corruption of Public Education: How It Happened and Education: Methadology or Content?.