State-run Voucher Schools…Educrats Still Looking For Faddish Panaceas.   
   Everyone in the American Educational Establishment is trying to find a panacea for the pitifully ailing American Public Schools.  Now the latest fad is State-run Voucher Schools.  There’s talk about this now in Georgia – as if this is going to change what is going on in the public schools of Georgia.  No, what is going to change the schools in Georgia – and this may never happen – is for the school boards and administrators to grow some backbone (just good ole fashion guts) and remove the thugs from the schools.  The student-thugs and their parent-thugs are now running the Georgia schools.  The school boards, superintendents, and the school administrators are actually afraid of them.  The administrators cannot genuinely effect positive changes in their schools.  So, they fake change…sending the message to the teacher (by messing with them on evaluations, terminations, etc.) that (1) they that don’t want to hear about disciplinary problems, (2) they will not support the teachers when they send a defiant and disruptive student to the office, and (3) they will take it out on the teachers for trying to bring order to their classes, especially when the teachers persist in getting administrative help for the miscreants who are hell-bound on destroying any order in class.  No one in the Georgia Educational Establishment wants to hear this.  This is impolite and politically incorrect information.  State Superintendent Kathy Cox keeps burying her head in the proverbial sand.   But, alas, these so-called “leaders” think that they have found a solution…State-run Voucher Schools.  Oh, they claim that there has been some success shown with these schools.          Some Government/Bureaucratic/Monolithic (if you will) Systems are so low that you would have to scrape them up like silly putty.  Any novel program has nowhere to go but up.  Ergo, the blips of success on the screen.  A State-run Voucher Program will be no panacea for public education as the charter school has not been.  Again, when the onus for learning is put on the teacher instead of the parents/children, then, Houston, we have a problem.  When administrators are literally afraid of the parents/children (unlike the environment 40 years ago), then we have a BIG problem.  You cannot run a successful public school (or private school, for that matter) when the administrators are running scared.  As an administrator, you have to have integrity, supporting teachers when it comes to disciplinary problems and backing them when irresponsible parents wage baseless complaints about grades which their children truly earned (however low these grades are).  At MACE, we have been saying for years that the main problems in public education are not (1) the way a school is organized (middle school or jr. high), (2) which teaching methods teachers employ (stand-up didactic approach or seminar type), or (3) the curriculum (how many of us can really remember any of our jr. high curricula?).  The Rand Report concluded this in 1976 from a study of the studies.  No single variable consistently identified with academic success.  Dr. John Goodlad (of UCLA), in his mega-study of the schooling process in the late 1970s and early 1980s, essentially concluded that school reform cannot be mandated state-wide nor system-wide.  School reform and success was contingent on local school leaders.  Unfortunately, most of our "leaders" in the public school are really not leaders.  Most are what I call "wiesels."  Not much leadership shown.  They are either scared of their shadows or they are angry and abusive.  This is the real sad state of public education.  No leadership.  This has been coming on for years.  May 18, 2009.  © MACE, 2009.

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