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August 21, 2021

Thoughts for a Saturday.


Several of you undoubtedly recall my various slaps at our education system in the United States. In a word, it is an embarrassment. The United States now ranks 17th in education world-wide with even lower rankings for math and reading. What has happened?

When I was an English teacher nearly 50 years ago, the United States ranked number one. I honestly thought it would be that way forever. Why not? What could possibly change it? Apparently, everything!

It’s not a money thing. When I taught English, I was making a whopping $11,800 per year and that included extra pay for being a credentialed reading specialist. Today, the average high school teacher’s salary is $47,259. While that is not a fortune and surely teachers have been and are still underpaid, the money thing would still seem not to apply. So what’s changed in the last 50 years? A lot!


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  1. Vsii permalink

    Allen, you should talk to a teacher today and you will find out what is the real problem. My son has been teaching for 33 years and loved the first 20 or so. Today, they are not allowed to adapt their teaching methods to their class. Everything is dictated from the Superintendent’s office where most have been promoted to positions based on their level of incompetence. Plus, school systems have dictates from the US Dept of Education. One observation is that since it was established our educational results have declined. They have made requirements that often have nothing to do improving quality – just positions in the superintendent’s office. Another issue is mainstreaming which also means that the test scores of those educationally challenged are included in our averages. Also, as you pointed out in another of your blogs, in other countries at an early age they separate those with promise for higher education from those unlikely to have the capability and put them on votech tracks. Hence, they are not required to take the same courses and I understand they are not included in the testing results used to rank countries. Another problem is when you and I went to school, one year was to learn new things and the next year was to reinforce what was learned he previous year. Today they already teach algebra in 8th grade and calculus in 11th grade and most have not mastered fractions or decimals. Plus, calculators are allowed so why bother. Just some thoughts.Nello

    Sent from the all new AOL app for iOS

    Liked by 2 people

    • Totally agree. I would not let my son take a calculator to class back in the day and I insisted that he also learn the “old math.”

      Liked by 1 person

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