Volume 91, Issue 37

Tuesday, November 4, 1997

till you drop


LETTERS
 

Teachers failing

Re: Ontario teachers' strike

To the Editor:
The very fact Ontario teachers feel they have the "right" to an illegal strike irritates me to no end. So why all the fuss then? Is the reality of the '90s suddenly sinking in too quickly for these holders of the lamp of learning to adapt to? The last time I checked, civil servants were being slashed faster than sushi in a blender. And yet, most teaching positions were protected with benefits! Thank God these people don't work in hospitals – they might very well walk right out the door on their patients! Hmmm...patients...students? Could there be an analogy brewing here? Maybe I'd know if I had been educated somewhere else.

Maybe we really aren't living in an era of downsizing and streamlining. Perhaps the mantra of the educational administration holds some mystical power by which it somehow manages to shield its minions from the social and economic uncertainty the rest of us swear by. Maybe educators really do deserve to be rewarded for consistently bringing a poor product to market at a vastly inflated price. Then again, could it be possible that Harris is right?

I would have assumed those fortunate enough to hold onto one of the last entrenched shrines of civil security would have been astute enough to know when to put up and shut up. Pensions and benefits aside, why do these people feel they have more right to job security than the folks who pay their bills? Apparently, the very people who are responsible for the future of our children are not even capable of that. For too long we have poured literally billions of dollars down the throats of these people and the grim reality is that it likely will never pay off.

And there is me. I was lucky enough to miss the entire de-streaming fiasco, but still managed to bounce from one mismanaged program to the next (Gifted, LD, resource and counselling departments, you name it, I saw it!). The only evidence I ever saw of work being done was the padding of report cards to avoid questions from parents as to why their child was unable to "keep up with the other kids." It works in public school, but the real world is not so forgiving.

Don't believe me? Fine. Go to your closest university and ask any professor or T.A. Ask them how many students can't write an essay, let alone a bibliography. The numbers are appalling. I've seen second-year statistics professors have to donate entire lectures to this stuff because the students were never taught!

So what is happening here? Are our children morons? I would like to think not. But while you may not be able to make a dumb kid smart, the opposite is happening all too often. Maybe Harris should do us all a favour and fire all of these "teachers" and start from scratch. Either way, something has to happen and the longer we wait, the fatter the bellies of these over-paid rent-a-rumps will grow!

Andrew Wells
Social Science II



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Copyright The Gazette 1997