Corruption in CCSD – Letter to Editor by Ian Kay

July 05 07:58 2018 Print This Article

It’s a very nice gesture, to propose an increase in teachers’ salaries in Charleston County. Teachers deserve adequate compensation. However, a monetary reward will not solve the problems that are besetting education, and no amount of compensation will be able to stop the disintegration of the public schools. For the past several years, educational pundits have focused on the external pressures that are having a profound effect on changing the way education is delivered. Vouchers, charter schools, the excessive use of standardized tests, value added measurements (VAM) to grade teachers, while neglecting to examine the internal culture that is placing an inordinate amount of stress on teachers. I am referring to the administrative system that rewards ‘garden variety’ teachers with certification, and allows them to supervise the process well beyond their level of expertise. They are in affect making intuitive decisions, while playing the role of educational experts and master teachers, and have created an adversarial relationship between management and staff. Despite the fact that teachers invest many years of study within their specialty, and much of that material is esoteric, (designed for the specially initiated few) administrators with little knowledge of their subject matter, are making decisions for them. It’s time for a complete change in the culture that exists within the schools, remove the authoritarian system, and replace it with support personnel culled from senior staff, on a rotating basis so that an adversarial relationship never occurs. Adding insult to injury, “the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker” are playing the role of educational experts, making decisions that are totally out of their bailiwick, and the professionals have no say in the outcome. I am referring to the so- called boards of education. Now, they have created a profession out of volunteerism. Do you think that plumbers, electricians, doctors, dentists and other professionals, would take kindly to people who have not earned their degrees and certification, making decisions on their behalf? It just reinforces the disrespect displayed, when teachers are not even trusted to make disciplinary decisions and transfers. It is ludicrous, and their place in the process needs to be re-examined. Obviously remarks like mine will never be revealed by working teachers, who live in fear of retribution from people who are mainly concerned with protecting their positions. I am not very optimistic that the situation can be reversed. The disintegration of the public schools is symptomatic of the culture of corruption that exists today within our system of government, and evidence of the decline of western civilization. The only people who count in the educational process are the teachers and their students, and everyone else is superfluous.

Ian Kay
Mount Pleasant, SC