Schools are open; the complaining continues

At the opening of the new public school season someone reading articles and editorials here in North Carolina would assume that children can’t be taught because mean, nasty State legislators (naturally Republicans) won’t give teachers high pay, retirement and healthcare benefits and teaching assistants.

Of course, they get all this for part-time work: three-months off for summer and a long list of “holidays” when many of them can supplement income with other jobs. Yet, editorialists continue to spread the myth that “teachers get less respect than the late Rodney Dangerfield.” Ha, ha!

The Editorial Board at the Wilmington StarNews leads the lobbying drummers with the usual drum roll: “Let’s support our teachers.” (Link below)

Skilled, well informed and dedicated teachers are always respected, but their unions, self-serving administrators and lobbying activists—the political class—is not worthy of esteem. In fact, these insiders contribute to problems with the public education system. Their “support” means getting more public money to expand the education empire—a multi-billion dollar government project in this State.

It’s revealing that these people are hostile to the public-funded Charter schools that compete more successfully.

Editors’ pass along another myth: “Free education remains one of the best ideas in American history.” Nothing in this life is “free.” We even pay dearly for the air we breathe because of massive costs and inefficiencies imposed by regulations and government bureaucrats.

Not many decades ago our public schools offered serious education focused on teaching classic subjects in English, history, geography, languages, biology, chemistry and mathematics. Today our schools have become social justice institutes offering welfare feeding stations, transportation networks, counseling centers, baby-sitting services, life skills adjustment sites, process centers for illegal aliens and environmental propaganda locations.

This education mission-creep has dramatically increased the costs of our schools, diverted funds away from the academic mission, and tragically short-changed American students raised in families that value education and want to learn.


About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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