Why public schools are doomed

A question: If you are the board of General Motors and your top Sales Manager retires, who do you choose to replace him/her? Do you go down to the mail room and choose good old Barney because he has been with the company 20 years and “deserves it,” even though he knows nothing about sales?

I don’t think so. I think you would go looking for the best Sales Manager, with the most qualifications for the job, the best reputation and a track record of success. That’s the way businesses work. They have to – or they are doomed to failure.

Unfortunately, public school systems use the “Good ol’ Barney” system of filling open positions and as a consequence they will continue to decline (it’s inevitable) until they are even more worthless then they are today.

Example: My wife, in her fifties, has a Ph.D. in Special Education and Gifted Students. She has taught teachers at West Virginia University, Ohio State, and Georgia State. She has been employed by the State of Georgia Education Dept. (twice), she has been the Principal of an Alternative School, an Elementary School, and a Middle School. She has certificates in School Law and Leadership. She is currently a “trouble shooter” for the State, helping schools who are deficient in meeting state and government standards – helping them to grow to meet those needs.

She has applied for and been interviewed over a dozen times for a principal’s position in DeKalb County, one of the largest and fastest growing counties in the Atlanta Metro-Plex.  Each time she has been passed over and the job given to Assistant Principals, “long-time” employees, coaches – anyone who is already employed in the Dekalb system.

In one instance, she had applied for a school which had FOUR special education classes (her specialty), yet she was denied the job in favor of an Assistant Principal who had no background in special education at all, and had never even been a principal – but she was already an employee of DeKalb County.

This incestuous practice of passing over highly qualified and specially trained educators for obviously unqualified employees is not restricted to Georgia – it seems to be a universal policy in public schools across the nation.

What does it mean? It means that the quality of education, by always selecting the lower quality educators (the “Barneys”) for these positions, guarantees that the education your child receives will become worse and worse, poorer and poorer, until it will be worthless to send your children to public school. In the meantime, the cost to maintain these halls of lousy teaching continues to rise.

The law of diminishing returns will not be denied. The public schools in America are doomed.

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One Comment on “Why public schools are doomed”

  1. Serena James Says:

    Every one has their own hidden agenda….unfortunately.

    Some years ago, when I was asked by the Governor of my State to participate in reviewing the qualifications of candidates for a key position in State government, the Governor was seeking to get independent, outside of State government input. His request was that the person be female, and in the particular field of business that was affected by this position. I was one of three panel members to review resumes. I was the “independent”. The other two were State employees. One was a State Judge in the court system and the other was a State employee in a position similar to the one being reviewed.

    During the review process, I noticed one candidate stood out well beyond the rest. His resume had all the appropriate experience and he presented his data so professionally. Every “T” was crossed and every “I” was dotted. And I say “he” because after the fact, I knew he was a “he”.

    When I remarked to the other State employee who would be a peer to this new hire, that this one candiate obviously stood out beyond everyone else, and was definitely the person for the position, I was shocked at the response. I was told by this other “chief” in State government that he did not want someone of this caliber for a peer, because he would make him look bad in comparison!

    I then understood the Governor’s request to find someone outside of State government to do the reviewing of the candidates. It was to prevent hiring mediocrity. However, given what happened afterwards, the new hire lasted only a few years, and he was burned out from the inability to get anything done!

    Incestuous practice you say….yes, unfortunately that is true everywhere. I wish Governor Tommy Thompson was able to stay longer in our State government, because he really ran things well for the 16 years he was in office. But you can only hit your head against the BRICK ceiling only so many times and you need a break.


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