Can greatness be a byproduct of Greed, Incorporated?

The Republican nominee for president, Donald J. Trump, proclaimed in late May 2016, “There’s one more thing we have to do to make America wealthy again. And you have to be wealthy to be great, I’m sorry to say it.” What good is wealth if social justice and progress is not the by-product? 

For most of us, wealth is a wholly inadequate measure of this nation; wisdom, decency and compassion must surely be included as essential variables in any formula for greatness.

First, we are already among the wealthiest nations on the planet. However, we have allowed avarice to drive our economics and permitted the concentration of ostentatious wealth in the hands of too few. Vast intergenerational wealth has been amassed through the centuries-long exploitation of uncompensated and under-compensated labor.

The right to acquire wealth is not absolute. Your right to riches does not extend to harming your neighbors.

Too many of those preoccupied by the acquisition of wealth are more than willing to poison the water table, destabilize the climate, or even instigate wars to sell weaponry. Our history is replete with examples of enterprises whose products generated immense profits but ultimately proved harmful to the citizenry. Also, tales of ruthless and unscrupulous oligarchs adorn every decade. Overall, the obsessive pursuit of immense wealth has proven itself to be damaging to our social fabric.

Together, we must exhibit the wisdom to thwart the despoiling of the environment by industrialists. Collectively, we must have the decency to bequeath a habitable planet to our progeny. In the speech cited above, the Republican nominee proposed eliminating the energy tax and, and, later, the total elimination of governmental regulation of business.  Such acts will herald a century of environmental catastrophes and societal upheaval.

Infinite riches will mean nothing to future generations if the soil will no longer support crops, the water table is poisoned, and the food chain is broken asunder.

Good for the corporate bottom line is not always good for people.

Unbridled capitalism leads to the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of too few citizens and threatens the abrogation of our social contract. One need look no further than the recent obscene price gouging on life-saving medications to see that always “charging what the market will bear” further marginalizes the disadvantaged among us.

In his essay “The Problem is Civil Obedience,” Howard Zinn wrote, “The wealth is distributed in this country and the world in such a way as not simply to require a small reform, but to require a drastic reallocation of wealth.” America is already an unimaginably wealthy nation, but its greatness is stymied when the hoarders of capital are permitted to invest heavily in the subversion of a government of, by and for the people.

Greatness will be at hand only if we avoid a descent into some Dickensian nightmare where the masses represent grist in the mills of corporate interest. Greatness will be at hand when more equitable shares of that national wealth are distributed among those who toil a lifetime in service to the common good, expecting little more than the potential of a better life for their children. 

This Commentary first appeared in the Prince George’s Sentinel on June 08, 2016. It has been slightly expanded and revised. 


Dismissing the factory model school

In his landmark work “Between the World and Me”, Ta-Nehisi Coates laments the hypocritical nature of the message he received in the Baltimore City Schools, “I was a curious boy, but the schools were not concerned with curiosity. They were concerned with compliance.” When managing misbehavior replaces academic instruction, intellectual development is stifled.

Such circumstances are vexing for both students and professional educators. The narrator offers praise for some of his individual educators, but criticizes a “system” that focuses on punishment and places children in peril by returning them to the streets as a consequence for misbehavior in school. The argument is not without merit.

Fear of reprisal is a singularly poor motivator for any child. Policies of “zero-tolerance” have proven ineffective at modifying undesired behaviors in the school house. 

Children, especially those children from harsh domestic environments, need more hours in instructional scenarios, not fewer. Those classrooms, however, also need to have the resources to do more than crowd children into sweat boxes for some portion of the day. Elevating young minds beyond their circumstance requires that educators possess the capacity to captivate.

We can no longer take pride in the occasional “against-all-odds” success story while failing to nurture the promise inherent in every child.

“The development of a factory-like system in the nineteenth-century schoolroom was not accidental,” Joel Spring said in “Education and the Rise of the Corporate State”. Educational triage was the primary goal: identify the most capable students, and then ensure that the rest arrive at the functional literacy required to follow instructions on the assembly line and sufficient numeracy to balance a checkbook.

Schooling, back then, had little to do with optimizing learning outcomes and more with learning to acquiesce to tedium and drudgery as preparation for the conditions likely to be encountered in the industrial workplace.

During the age of the robber barons, corporatists imported cheap labor from abroad to keep the cost of labor hopelessly low and profits high for the investor class. Now, they incorporate abroad, access labor at bargain-basement prices offshore, and avoid paying taxes in the United States while taking full advantage of our free market while returning little in the bargain. The public coffers suffer as a result. 

Call the oligarchic elites of America what you will: capitalists, plutocrats, one-percenters, or political puppeteers! They consist mostly of obsessive hoarders-of-wealth. They utilize tiny portions of vast, inter-generational fortunes to persuade the political class that their power-and-privilege constitutes the natural order of things.

Is this society really intent on leaving no child behind? Then, why do we still employ an educational model that assumed a large portion of the school age population would never obtain a diploma? In his landmark work “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” Paolo Freire explained it quite succinctly. “It would be indeed naïve to expect the oppressor elites to carry out a liberating education.” That duty, therefore, falls to the rest of us. 

[This commentary appeared originally in the Prince George’s Sentinel on August 19, 2015. It has been slightly re-worked.]  


Those who cannot teach, govern

Wish a heartfelt “Happy New Year!” to all educators embarking on the new school year for it has become clear that many of our national leaders are oblivious of the eternal optimism that compels dedicated educators to stand before their students each fall.

Just a year ago, two candidates for president suggested last year that Americans will need to work harder to get ahead. Another fantasized about punching teacher leaders in the nose. Then, Governor John Kasich declared that as “King of America,” he would abolish all teachers’ lounges “where they sit together and worry about ‘woe is us.'”

It is clear that too many candidates for office are clueless about the real lives of those they hope to govern.

First, the nature of the typical school day does not furnish time for lounging anywhere at all. “Lounge” is a terrible misnomer; “Planning Room” would be more fitting. However, for most classroom instructors, the lounge constitutes little more than a way station to address biological needs while suffering the interminable quest to find a working photocopier.

On the rare occasions educators do engage in ‘woe is us’ discussions, it generally occurs in the interminable queue at the lone functional photocopier, likely clutching a ream of paper purchased at retail and a document they need to reproduce for class, awaiting their predictable turn to submit a request for the repair service when the machine inevitably sputters to a stop.

For the record: the teachers’ lounge is frequently the least utilized space in a school.

Decades ago, the National Labor Relations Act exempted professional educators from the provisions for overtime pay. If teachers, like lawyers, had billable hours, school budgets would nearly double. The average conscientious classroom instructor spends an average of nearly twenty hours at home on the tasks of grading papers, record-keeping and lesson planning.

Educators make the case for increasing resources in the school; and they used to hear platitudes about how important their work remains to children. Of late, however, it is far more likely that educators will be named as the scapegoat for all our national ‘failures’ in public education.

Hope hovers on the horizon. A few years ago, the Gates Foundation set out to improve the evaluation process for teachers with the Measures of Effective Teaching project. Hoping to identify the pre-supposed double-digit percentage of marginally competent instructors, their own research discovered that the actual number of struggling teachers hovers around six percent.

With that fact uncovered, the Gates Foundation changed the focus of its work in education and engaged in the work of decreasing teacher isolation in order to facilitate communication and collaboration in the education community so more teachers have increased access to the best practices of their colleagues around the country, a capacity the Gates Foundation is uniquely positioned to implement.

Unfortunately, our political leaders have yet to learn the lesson that improving instructional practice will involve trusting teachers. Instead of threatening to eliminate the federal Department of Education, it is time for the DoE to start hearing the teacher voice prior to implementing policy. 

[This commentary originally appeared on September 2, 2015 in the Prince George’s Sentinel.] 


Don’t delay start of school year to after Labor Day!

Two reasons stand out…

First, during the Agrarian Age — pre-dating the Industrial Age — farmers really did need children to help tend the crops on the family farm during the summer. Speaking as someone who, as a child, helped bring in the harvest in agricultural country, this was time that likely would have been better spent in a classroom.

Second, human beings have proven curiously resistant to changing long-practiced, traditional behaviors even when those behaviors are demonstrably deleterious to the common good. Too many of us still resist seat belts in cars & helmets on motorcycles.

Our agrarian school calendar was never predicated on the assumption of optimal learning conditions for students. Back then school was where the academic wheat was separated from the chaff. At the dawn of the Age of Information, one can only hope that future decisions about our school calendar will be grounded firmly on the concept of improving learning outcomes for every child rather than enhancing profits for private enterprise.

Here in Prince George’s County, the education community has been coping with the rigors of the externally imposed testing regimen, in part, by opening schools prior to Labor Day. The extra days of instruction have yielded dividends in improved performance on the federally mandated statewide assessments.

This local strategy has borne fruit. Some percentage of our increase in test scores can be directly attributed to the extra instructional time before March “Testing” Madness begins.

Most educators concluded long ago that standardized assessments are (how can this be phrased kindly?) less-than-ideal measures of student growth. However, as long as so much rides on those results, the education community must be free, locally, to implement any calendar that prevents the loss of resources for the schools.

Compelling all schools systems to move opening until after Labor Day is terrible public policy for many reasons, not the least of which is once again reducing the role of children to chattel for the labor mills.

[This Commentary first appeared in the Prince George’s Gazette on February 5, 2015. It has been revised. ]


No longer hailing the hometown football team…

“It would be foolish to despise tradition. But with our growing self-consciousness and increasing intelligence we must begin to control tradition and assume a critical attitude toward it, if human relations are ever to change for the better. We must try to recognize what in our accepted tradition is damaging to our fate and dignity—and shape our lives accordingly.” Albert Einstein

The time has come to do more than set aside the month of November for the so-called honoring of Native American History. Speaking as a lifelong and ardent fan of the local professional football team, add one more voice to the chorus of those who believe that the retirement of the name to the annals of history is too long overdue. As Mohandas Gandhi said, “If you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth.”

Far too many implementations of social injustice would likely have polled quite well. It is more likely that the results of the recent poll regarding the team’s name have more in common with the “Stockholm Syndrome” than with indifference to such an objectionable epithet. As Paolo Freire posited in his Pedagogy of the Oppressed, “There would be no oppressed had there been no prior situation of violence to establish their subjugation.” 

After moving the team from Boston to Washington, the original owner-and-founder of this franchise, George Preston Marshall, exhibited utter indifference for furnishing equal opportunity to people of color. Likely in an effort to avoid a civil rights lawsuit, the league compelled him to desegregate his team despite the owner’s long held tradition and beliefs. It was manifestly the right thing to do.

Many would welcome a similar action today with regard to a team name that is certainly no less dehumanizing than the hiring practices of decades ago. One need not look much farther than the dictionary to find this name associated with such words as “derogatory” and “disparaging“. 

Consider the name change a first step to address the more than 500 broken treaties that litter our history. Exactly how do we honor Native Americans by reducing their cultural heritage to the archaic ethnic stereotypes represented by our corporate logos? What reverence is expressed by reducing those proud and vibrant peoples to caricatures and mascots? How can we remain so oblivious to the wrongs committed in the name of civilization? 

Historically, the indigenous peoples of North America suffered a horrific tragedy when Europeans starting landing on these shores. The invaders exploited modest scientific advances in chemistry and metallurgy to produce weaponry that facilitated the conquest and usurpation of two continents. Explorers from the colonial powers, in the name of their respective monarchs, immediately started planting flags, claiming territories and absconding with precious metals.  

The Hernando De Soto expedition rode through what is now called Florida, Georgia & Louisiana massacring entire villages. At one point his crew drove an entire village into a swamp and waited for them to drown. The Jesuit priest accompanying the expedition described De Soto in his journals as Satan incarnate. The accounts confirm the description.

Ultimately, however, the pathogens in the crew’s blood did the most damage. Eight in every ten adults of the 12 to 20 million citizens of the 500 Nations would fall to smallpox, mumps, measles and chickenpox prior to the arrival of the pilgrims in New England decades later. During the epidemic that followed, scarcely sufficient survivors remained to bury the dead.

Our own nation’s treatment of the surviving descendants fails to withstand close scrutiny on the moral plane. The incidents, too numerous to detail here, betray our collective intent: the Trail of Tears, the massacre at Wounded Knee, internment camps and reservations, the first effort at germ warfare at Fort Pitt, the wanton extermination of buffalo from the plains. Post-revolutionary America, with its lofty constitutional language intact, rejected incorporation of the native peoples and chose eradication instead.

Achieving a critical mass for change will require discipline. All those who believe it time for a reboot of the franchise will need to echo the words of the world weary Hinmatóowyalahtq’it, known to Europeans as Chief Joseph, and relay the message to the team ownership that as long as the name offends anyone, we will watch no more, forever. 

[The original version of this Commentary appeared in the Prince George’s Sentinel on November 15, 2015.]


Help for teacher turnover can be found in Finland

“What do you do when a teacher is struggling in the classroom?
We support them.
What if you support them and they continue to struggle?
We support them more…”

Conversation with the  Finnish Minister of Education

In America, we have yet to learn that “sink-or-swim” isn’t even a good way to teach swimming, but it still constitutes the de facto professional development model in most school systems. Each autumn, more than 9,000 teachers greet our more than 125,000 students here in Prince George’s County. In any given year, it is likely that we replace about 10 percent of the teaching force. In bad years, it has been as high as 20 percent. 

“Why so many?” you may ask, on the mistaken assumption that teaching is a highly-coveted gig. Our turnover issues, though, are the result of having learned little from the most celebrated model for public education in the world, as outlined in the documentary, “The Finland Phenomenon.

In Finland, teachers provide a little less than 700 hours of direct instruction to students annually. Here, the average time for direct teacher/student interface nearly doubles that figure at nearly 1,100 hours.

For Finnish teachers, the remainder of the work day is devoted to inter-collegial collaboration, observation and job-imbedded professional development. American teachers scarcely have time to visit the restroom, much less for productive collaboration with peers.

Every teacher knows the three behaviors of effective instruction: planning, planning and more planning. However, our contractual allotment of 45 minutes for planning remains wholly inadequate to prepare for our daily 250-plus minutes of instructional delivery. 

An overwhelming majority of our teachers devote both evenings and weekends to revising lesson plans, grading assignments and attempting home contacts. There is nothing more frustrating than spending an hour of preparation for an activity that will consume ten-to-fifteen minutes of a lesson.

Before and after the contractual school day, teachers volunteer to tutor, sponsor activities and perform administrative chores. 

The 37.5-hour week is an absolute myth that should be relegated to the dustbin of history; ample evidence suggests that teachers, on average, dedicate 55 hours weekly to their vocation.

Conservative ideologues would have you believe that collective bargaining and due process impede progress in education while ignoring the inconvenient truth that teachers are unionized in Finland.

Talking heads seek to attribute blame for “low student achievement” in socio-economically challenged schools on teacher tenure while remaining curiously silent on the gross disparities in facilities and resources that reign here in the United States.

Furthermore, according to Dr. Tony Wagner of Harvard, Finland makes no use of standardized testing. Instead, the No. 1 country in education provides for the equitable distribution of adequate resources and, then, trusts teachers to meet the needs of children.


[The original version of this Commentary appeared in the now defunct Prince George’s Gazette on Thursday August 14, 2014.]


Those weren’t the days, my friend…

When socializing with colleagues, the topic of conversation often turns to public education policy. A curmudgeon in the group invariably makes reference to “the good old days” marked by rote recitation of the times-tables, a time when all children were little engines of on-demand knowledge acquisition, and all teachers found a way to convey critical knowledge.

There is only one problem with the argument.

As so aptly clarified in Diane Ravitch’s Reign of Error, such a period of educational attainment is but a figment of the collective imagination. Still, the halcyon days of our past remain a popular myth and are employed as a standard justification for leaving education appropriations as a percentage of the Gross National Product (GNP) right where they have been stuck for decades, somewhere within shouting distance of six percent since World War II. 

Unfortunately, our Oz-like tendency to examine the past through rose-colored glasses is hampering efforts to provide adequate resources to prepare ALL children for the demands of the Age of Information.

As little as fifty years ago, a quarter of our children dropping out of school merited hardly a shrug of concern. Unfortunately, today’s drop-outs need no longer apply to the legitimate alternatives of that time.

The military has always required foot-soldiers for the skirmish line, but the equipment and weaponry of today are more advanced. Unlike the the days of old, marginally-literate high school drop-outs will find it a challenge to enlist in their service of choice.

Back then, the industrial sector welcomed former students to the workforce with the promise of a living wage for work that was often tedious and frequently hazardous. Today, those factories, when not relocated overseas, are automated and mechanized. Now, factories require writers-of-code and programmers for the robotics.

Our society continues to evolve, and technology is proving to be a double-edged sword creating careers for the highly-skilled while rendering many other trades obsolete. In a few short years, we will deal with the arrival of autonomous vehicles on our roads… How many truck, taxi and bus drivers will be put out of work? Who will create the training and the opportunities to replace that lost gainful employment?

The national goal of optimizing education for every child is a paradigm shift for this nation. “Reaching every child” is a laudable goal, but 21st Century schools will never simply arise from the 19th Century agrarian calendar, the 20th Century model of a school-day based on the assembly line, or stagnant funding streams. Our appropriation of education resources has t00 long favored the economic elite while turning a blind eye to the plight of the disadvantaged; that, too, must change.

Essential to our progress as a society, this ideal could be phrased no more eloquently than by the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman, when she said, The future which we hold in trust for our own children will be shaped by our fairness to other people’s children.

[The original version of this piece appeared in the Prince George’s Sentinel on July 15, 2015.]


There is more to school than reading, writing or math

In his Remarks on the Youth Fitness Program in 1961, John F. Kennedy proposed that, “The Strength of our democracy and our country is really no greater in the final analysis than the well-being of our citizens.” That was more than fifty years ago, and the healthcare paradigm in this nation still reflects a preference for a pound of medical intervention over an ounce of preventative measures for illness or injury.

The decades-long trend of increased childhood obesity, and the chronic maladies associated with it, should cause alarms to sound across this country. Even President Kennedy’s proposed minimum of “fifteen minutes of vigorous activity daily” was inadequate to the task of raising fitness levels. Our failure to address this issue will likely result in a generation of adults needlessly dependent on an already-strained healthcare system.

The ancient Greeks maintained that strong minds are improved by strong bodies.

Basic survival requires the presence of clean air, pure water, nutritious food and shelter from the elements. In order to thrive, the offspring of sentient creatures also require access to time for “play” that nurtures survival skills and general fitness. Feline “play” is ultimately a rehearsal for the hunt. For human beings, “play” is crucial to the awakening of imagination and intellect. 

Both structured and unstructured play time are absolutely essential to the physical, social and intellectual growth of children. Adequate time for play is critical to their physical and mental well-being. Thirty minutes a day at aerobic threshold is a bare minimum to maintain health. So, why are we still stuck with a fifteen-minute minimum recess for children in a place called “school”? Do we have a crisis in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Or, might it be that children simply have insufficient outlets for pent up energy? 

We no longer allow children the time to be children. The time comes soon enough to set aside childish things…

For starters, in the dozen years since the enactment of the pernicious No Child Left Behind legislation, school schedules have been compelled to strictly narrow the curricular focus to reading and math skills. Schools are devoting ever more of the school calendar to test preparation and test administration because their very survival depends on achieving “acceptable” results on standardized assessments.

Instructional programs, especially in schools serving the socio-economically disadvantaged,  have therefore experienced reductions in enrichment programs, physical education, recess, and even nap-time for pre-Kindergarteners. Such regimentation ignores the needs of the whole child.

In the current climate of test-based accountability, it will be no small task to allot time in the school day to provide an opportunity for children to achieve the recommended minimum of 30 minutes at aerobic threshold required to maintain optimal human health. So far, only a handful of states have achieved that goal.

We ignore national goals for physical fitness at our own peril.

Further Reading: It works in Texas!

[The original version of this Commentary appear as There’s more to school than Reading, Writing & Math in the Prince George’s Sentinel on July 01, 2015.]


Has the village abdicated its responsibility for raising children?

*The West Wing character

[The original version of the “Commentary” appeared in the now defunct Prince George’s Gazette on October 20, 2014. It has been revised and expanded.]


Ready to be a teacher? There will be a quiz…

Welcome to the hot seat. So, let’s play Who Wants To Be A Teacher?

You know the rules, of course. There are no free calls or lifelines. Here is your piece of chalk. You are on your own

Answer fifteen straight questions correctly and you will win the grand prize of a Teaching Certificate. This certificate will guarantee you the privilege of struggling against impossible odds for three decades to win the hearts and minds of the 5,700 children likely to enter your classroom.

Now, let’s answer the first question for which the prize will be the much-coveted reduced-interest-rate on your mortgage. If you miss at any time, you will revert back to the consolation prize of a ream of paper. So, let’s get to the first question!

 “A person described as a Jack-of-All-Trades is also characterized as a Master of …”

A. Nun
B. One
C. None
D. Education

There is a lot riding on this. So, think it through carefully.

The contestant wavers. “A” and “B” are obviously the distractors. It seems a fairly sure bet that item “C” is the answer, but our contestant knows some teachers and item “D” remains a troubling possibility.

The audience is in suspense as the contestant wrings her hands and wipes her forehead and fervently wishes she could call a friend or poll the audience.  

So, let us discuss her quandary.

Teaching is not just one job. Classroom instructors hold a panoply of part-time jobs that require them to engage in frenetic multi-tasking simply to survive.

Teachers are part-time clericals, part-time security guards, part-time detectives, part-time counselors, part-time administrators and finally, by sheer necessity, part-time instructors.

“Part-time clerical?” you ask. From Advanced Placement to Special Education, most teachers drown in a morass of paper: endless corrections with no hope of reprieve, data-entry, Individual Education Programs, letters of recommendation, requests for daily individual progress reports, quarterly progress reports and gradesheets (and the computation thereof!), to name but a few.

Other professionals staff out various tasks; teachers carve time out of their evenings and weekends to do it all themselves.  

“Part-time security guard?” you ask. The assignment of insufficient support personnel in the building leaves teachers with the responsibility of being in the hallway before school, between classes and for some portion of their so-called “planning” period supervising children in passage. Instead of organizing as one class departs and preparing for the next to arrive, potential instructional time is lost at the beginning and end of every class because keeping a lid on the pressure cooker in the hallway is a much higher priority in most schools.

“Part-time detective?” you ask. Because much of the information in the school database is obsolete within months of being acquired, it can take weeks to make the “required” parental contact prior to administrative intervention for attendance or behavior problems. Negotiating the labyrinth of disconnected phone lines, prior employment, changed addresses and serial guardianship can be a daunting task, especially in schools where 30% of the student body rotates between the ninth and the twelfth grade.

“Part-time counselor?” you ask. Go ahead and scold your students about missing assignments only to discover that one is living in a homeless shelter, or that another is living in a home for unwed mothers with an ailing six-month infant and no health care. Just luring some of these children into the schoolhouse constitutes a daily miracle as they confront the onset of adult consequences during adolescence. How does the school deliver meaningful supports to such students when teachers routinely have 190+ students and guidance counselors may advise 480 students?

 “Part-time administrator?” you ask. The administration, too, is consistently understaffed. Teachers are enlisted, therefore, to help manage the school. Ostensibly, this serves to train future administrators, but such time would be better-spent planning lessons if better instruction were the primary function.

The inevitable desire to see increased academic performance leads teachers to accept unpaid committee assignments and underpaid department chairmanships that invariably consume far more time than foreseen.

 “Part-time instructor?” you ask. Invariably, it is instructional priorities that suffer as typical teachers struggle to satisfy the myriad responsibilities that comprise their workday. Do you want your child’s teacher perfecting a lesson plan, providing feedback on some written work, OR standing in front of the school counting the school buses as they arrive? Which of these sounds like an optimal use of the talent pool?

The time has come for teachers to perform the task for which they are trained.

In most cases, teachers just want to teach. Teachers need the time to plan & deliver instruction and, then, assess whether learning has taken place. If the improvement of learning outcomes is the goal, then respect the act of teaching by severely reducing, if not entirely eliminating, non-instructional duties.

The community must find a way to furnish adequate human resources in support of teachers and children.

Much ado has been made in recent months about the projected teacher shortage. That much-discussed shortfall of educators is a figment of our collective imagination.

There is no shortage of persons certified to teach in this nation. There is a shortage of people willing to accept a 60-hour workweek for a 35-hour paycheck.

Former teachers do not disappear from the face of the earth. They quit the profession for just cause after dispassionately examining the ratio between heartache and reward. Teachers come into the classroom for the opportunity to teach children, and they leave because they are systematically denied the opportunity to excel at their chosen endeavor.

Our children deserve more than a frazzled Jack-of-All-Trades in their classrooms. They require the focus of a Master-of-One-Trade and until such time as the primary functions of teachers are delivery-of-instruction and assessment-of-student learning, we must anticipate a dearth of contestants for any game show called “Who Wants to Be a Teacher?”

Further Reading: The situation has not improved… :

Further Reading: Teacher Retention in Georgia?

Number of Future Teachers Reaches All Time Low

[The original version of this “Viewpoint” appeared in the now defunct Prince George’s Journal on December 19, 2001.  The photo is from the game show “Who wants to be a Millionaire”]