Recently the news has been filled with the problems of our public educational system. Simply put it is failing. The talking heads are blaming everyone from the teacher unions to not enough money.
Central Falls High School in Rhode Island fired all their teachers because they would not accept a change with out more money. That school did make the statement that the school should run the school - not the Union.
The current occupant of the white house is threatening to close more schools unless they improve.
California college students are protesting a hike in fees (they still think higher education should be free even if the state is bankrupt).
A democratic state senator in Chicago is campaigning for a voucher system in that city.
However this is not entirely about the union. Most teachers want to teach, love to teach, and do a great job and follow the Chesterton rule, "A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching".
As nice as it is it is not about the money either.
For the past several years I have been working in the public educational system and my job this year has given me a different view on why this may be happening. In the mornings I teach, off campus, a group of young boys who do not work and play well others. In the afternoons I along with two full time teachers tutor high school kids in order to help them pass their state exams - without which they can not graduate. These tests are not that difficult most of the questions are on an eighth grade level. Nearly 90% of these just don't care to learn the material.
When I was in school we would ask our teachers, "Why do I gotz to learn this stuff"?
The answer was simple, "You need a good education if you want to support yourself and your family."
Since we are now in our 3rd generation of an entitlement society this answer is no longer true. Some have learned that 'workin for da gubment' they can get food, a place to live, health care, energy allowances, with enough money for beer, cigarettes and cable TV. So why bother with school why bother with work?
It is very hard to convince these kids of the importance of education. The percentage of these kids is growing every year. This attitude of "I don't care and I don't have to care." is infections. The parents of the motivated and gifted are pulling their kids to send them to private schools or home school. The scale in public schools is tilting and not in the right direction.
This very disheartening for a teacher.
The why bothers go to school cause they got nothing else to do, and it is better than sitting at home with dad.