Here's the man telling it like it is, from an interview in 1995:<br><br><br>[i]The Importance of Education<br><br><br>SJ: I'm sure it did. I'm a very big believer in equal opportunity as opposed to equal outcome. I don't believe in equal outcome because unfortunately life's not like that. It would be a pretty boring place if it was. But I really believe in equal opportunity. Equal opportunity to me more than anything means a great education. Maybe even more important than a great family life, but I don't know how to do that. Nobody knows how to do that. But it pains me because we do know how to provide a great education. We really do. We could make sure that every young child in this country got a great education. We fall far short of that. I know from my own education that if I hadn't encountered two or three individuals that spent extra time with me, I'm sure I would have been in jail. I'm 100% sure that if it hadn't been for Mrs. Hill in fourth grade and a few others, I would have absolutely have ended up in jail. I could see those tendencies in myself to have a certain energy to do something. It could have been directed at doing something interesting that other people thought was a good idea or doing something interesting that maybe other people didn't like so much. When you're young, a little bit of course correction goes a long way. I think it takes pretty talented people to do that. I don't know that enough of them get attracted to go into public education. You can't even support a family on what you get paid. I'd like the people teaching my kids to be good enough that they could get a job at the company I work for, making a hundred thousand dollars a year. Why should they work at a school for thirty-five to forty thousand dollars if they could get a job here at a hundred thousand dollars a year? Is that an intelligence test? [b]The problem there of course is the unions. The unions are the worst thing that ever happened to education because it's not a meritocracy. It turns into a bureaucracy, which is exactly what has happened. The teachers can't teach and administrators run the place and nobody can be fired. It's terrible.<br><br>
There is no question central Administrators (city-county level) many times screw things up. And there are some principals like Captain Queeg (The Caine Mutiny) or Captain Bligh (Mutiny on the Bounty). And there are some poorer teachers. But in the schools I've been in (with my kids)- the teachers are the least of their problems. Same for the schools where my sister taught. Now maybe it's different in other areas of the country.<br><br>The problem FOR teachers is that they are used like pawns and they have NO say so where or many times what they teach. Many are put in untenable positions and asked to do the near impossible. They get little backing from the parents, little from their principal, and even less from the central administration. That is why some unionized... they only get support from each other. Not saying that's always great, but it's "self-defence". IF you never been there, you can't imagine how difficult it is day after day after day. Not only do you have to "control" 30 individuals at a time- but you have to motivate them! That is tough in today's world, esp when few parents instill any "self discipline" in their kids.<br><br>David (OFI)<br>
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