There are some great stories today locally as well as nationally, but my favorite article comes form the student newspaper at Illinois State. I mean, nepotism has been going on in Chicago forever, but who could have predicted that as we continue to heap abuse on the state’s teachers, students would decide that they’d rather go into some other career.
This is a problem that goes beyond teaching. Our best and our brightest have discovered that the easiest way to an extravagant lifestyle and retirement by 40 is to go work for the big banks and hedge funds. Our brightest minds aren’t looking for the cure for cancer, renewable clean energy, or a program for NBC that people will actually watch. What they’re working on is to find the next big derivative that hopefully doesn’t crash our economy this time around.
The materialistic attractions to teaching — job security, pension, shorter days, and Summers off, have all but disappeared. That means the only people who will be drawn to this profession are those who approach it with a selfless missionary zeal and those who are too dim to do anything else. “Those who can’t, teach” will become a self fulfilling prophecy, especially when the intrinsic motivation is cut into by endless test prep and bureaucracy.
“When all those factors add up, there is little surprise as to why students are not interested. Furthermore, teaching is a tough job. Requirements to get into the program are still strong and passing takes effort and focus.”
“The sister of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s City Council floor leader has been hired by the Chicago Public Schools to help smooth the tumultuous transition caused by 54 school closings — the largest public school consolidation in the nation’s history.”
“A great irony of the corporate reform agenda is that the mission to bring business-like accountability and efficiency to public education has been hampered in part by the colossal incompetence of some of the companies involved. A good example is Pearson, which calls itself “the world’s leading education company,” a slogan which, if true, should give all of us great pause. This big testing company, like its testing-industry competitors, has been screwing up over and over again for more than a decade now, with news of its most recent colossal mistake coming just this past week.”
“Ellen Shepard, Executive Director, Andersonville Chamber of Commerce stated that the businesses are against the closing of Trumbull. Also, the building is very significant because it is old and because it houses Trumbull School. The business community has a good relationship with the school because it is “the anchor of our community.” Closing a public school will have an impact on the neighborhood.”
“Organizers were quick to note that Stewart Elementary sits in a prime locale in Uptown — within eyesight of a Red Line station and several bus routes, a quick walk to a shopping strip and bordered by a nearby Target store and new apartments.”
“One way to see this is to look at the scores of rich and poor students on standardized math and reading tests over the last 50 years. When I did this using information from a dozen large national studies conducted between 1960 and 2010, I found that the rich-poor gap in test scores is about 40 percent larger now than it was 30 years ago.”