| October 29, 2013

Journalist visits Oklahoma schools, says ‘what I found was scary’

Local journalist and writer Mike Brake decided to spend some time in Oklahoma public-school classrooms. “What I found was scary,” he writes.

Mr. Brake, who has recently authored a centennial history of Putnam City Schools, says he did encounter some excellent teachers. However, “in classroom after classroom, in subject after subject, in grade level after grade level, I encountered dreary, uninspired, boring instruction. Teachers sit at desks, often puttering on their computers, while students plod through head-down worksheets or checklists or multiple-choice tests. Or, they watch endless videos which may or may not have much to do with the subject at hand.” His overall impressions:

  • First, there are a lot of drones in public education today, poor to mediocre teachers who are just putting in their time for a pension. There may also be some decent teachers who have opted for mediocrity because the system expects little more.
  • Second, the lack of effective discipline and order in most schools prevents a great deal of learning.
  • Third, students and the people who pay billions for public education deserve better.

Regrettably, I can’t say I’m surprised at what Mr. Brake found in our heavily unionized government monopoly. Here’s hoping policymakers will choose to bring education into our highly successful free-enterprise system. After all, OCPA wants those excellent teachers Mr. Brake found to be eligible to earn, say, $4 million a year.

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