Education & the Corruption of Principles

Chicago public school teachers are out on strike. They’ve been treated so unfairly there was just no other option. After all, in a city where the median income is $47,000 per year, they make only $76,000. Sure, they get all their benefits on top of that, but since they are the most important people in the city, they deserve more. So you can understand why when they were offered a measly 16% raise, they hit the roof. How insulting. Wouldn’t you be insulted if you were given only a 16% raise? Surely you can feel their pain.

The other indignity they’ve been forced to suffer is the threat to evaluate whether they are doing their jobs well. I mean, what other profession has to worry about that? They are being singled out, and they know why. Reports are that 79% of eighth-graders are are not proficient in reading and 80% are not proficient in math. But is that their fault? Absolutely not. It’s an unreasonable expectation to demand results to match one’s salary. No wonder they have decided to strike. Life is the pits for Chicago teachers.

They know the solution to the problem:

And they certainly deserve to live a more luxurious life; they’ve had to scrape by much too long:

I’m sorry. I can’t go on. I’m just so frustrated by the poor treatment these teachers are receiving. My empathy for them is boundless. I’m going to continue to teach at the college level where we make sure our students are well-rounded individuals who are fully aware of their heritage:

Yes, I’m being sarcastic, but only mildly, in as good a humor as I can generate. We are in a mess educationally. There are many particulars we can examine to determine why that is, but I believe Noah Webster, back in 1837, clearly described the root of the problems we face—an insight that applies universally, whether the year is 1837 or 2012. He stated to a correspondent,

Principles, Sir, are becoming corrupt, deeply corrupt; & unless the progress of corruption, and perversion of truth can be arrested, neither liberty nor property will long be secure in this country. And a great evil is, that men of the first distinction seem, to a great extent, to be ignorant of the real, original causes of our public distresses.

Wisdom from our Christian heritage. If only our politicians, teachers, and students could be well-schooled in it.