Tuesday, January 12, 2010

To Bob Herbert

Why, Mr. Herbert, are you so convinced that school administrators are the ones to do this job? Where do the kids with the most problems end up? Special Ed. And what is Special Education? It's a dumping ground where the parents expect miracles and administrators want to avoid lawsuits--because by and large, they are smarmy, mealy-mouthed bureaucrats (only way to keep your job really)--not really the type to take on The Man or The System. All that really matters is to look as though something is being done, shuffle papers back and forth and hole IEP meetings (if goals are not met, move the goalpost) and give in to the mediocrity. Do you seriously expect change from people who rise in their careers by avoiding unpleasant truths, writing useless mission statements, or concocting the meaningless-buzzword-laden-gibberish-witches-brew known as "teaching standards"? I think not. It's the kind of system that drives good people away, because when you realize how useless it is to actually try to accomplish anything at all, your choices are to either get out or stick with it because you have tenure--but do as little as possible. As they say in China, he who sticks his head out will have it chopped off. So there you have it. So please give it up about how education administrators will be our saviors?

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