Do military leaders blame their troops when they lose a battle? As a retired military officer, I know a military leader would never do that. This responsibility honor code is ignored by politicians and education leaders who obviously plan to lose the education battle.
A battle is lost if not focused on a clear objective. As a Vietnam veteran, I believe we lost that war because political leaders did not assign a clear objective. We were just fighting communism in the jungles. Similarly, politicians and education policy-makers will lose the war to improve education because they focus on money and don’t plan a clear objective. Even worse, they dishonorably blame front-line teachers.
In announcing President Obama’s education initiative, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said we must produce world class students ready for college; with more accountability from teachers, less emphasis on reading and math, and more focus on social studies. In other words, we will improve education by fighting in the education jungle.
Why not assign the clear objective of literacy; then respect teachers, encourage them, and allow them to win the battle? A literate student will stay in school and learn. Is that too complicated?