RON HART: Atlanta teacher cheating trial begins

Published: Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 12:55 PM.

We are told by politicians and the media that teachers are always "heroes," and thus beyond reproach. It seems that pretty much any public sector workers doing their job are labeled “heroes.” Superintendent Beverly Hall, the darling of the edu-crat world, received the National Superintendent of the Year award in 2009.

What is troubling is that this pervasive cheating wasn’t reported by other teachers. The AJC report said there was "a culture of fear, intimidation and retaliation." Good teachers — and there are many of them — were pushed by their leaders to conform to something not good for the students.

When caught, some teachers indignantly complained that kids do not pay attention anymore and just watch porn on their smart phones. This sends the wrong message; it leaves girls with an unrealistic idea of how quickly a pizza delivery man will be there and the appropriate form of payment.

In government-run education, there is no consumer choice and no competition. No one is held accountable for the results. I like to say, "You get what you pay for," but we do not even get that. Like similar government outfits such as the VA, no amount of throwing good money after bad will improve the situation unless we break the monopoly control of government and unions.

Also like the 80 percent unionized VA, which continues to produce dismal results, our politicians’ solution is to reward it with $17 billion more. If the VA were were a business, it would be out of operation and replaced with one that could get results. Government is the only entity that rewards incompetence with more money.

In their public rhetoric, edu-crats and politicians all agree that the Atlanta cheating scandal is a problem. They also agree on a solution: raise teacher pay, increase the number of administrators, increase pensions and shorten the school year.

Money is not the answer. I could teach math scratching in the dirt with a stick. My small hometown did all it could to teach kids with the money we had. I am pretty sure my high school football coaches saved the school money by teaching both driver education and sex education in the same car.

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