History has shown us that when a dictator becomes the leader of a country, the first thing they do is to eliminate the intellectuals. I am not implying that Gov. Rick Scott is planning to physically eliminate anyone.
But his dictatorial “reforms” that were legislated for public school teachers this past year and his current attacks on Florida public university professors and what they should teach will cause an exodus of our best public school teachers and professors and will discourage any good candidates to come to Florida to teach.
I believe that we are all aware that the European and Asian countries are doing a much superior job of educating their children than we are and at far less money than we spend for each child. If other countries are more successful than we are, why don’t we find out what they are doing that is better and copy them?
In the most recent rankings of worldwide countries for the best results in educating their children, the top two were Finland and Singapore. Here are some of the reasons:
1. They recruit the top college students as teachers and pay them equally in comparison to the top professions.
2. Raised standards for teacher training.
3. Teachers have the autonomy to develop world-class academic standards and a curriculum to match.
4. Teachers are respected like other professionals.
Because these countries place public education as one of their top priorities and give them the support that is necessary, they are able to have the brightest candidates apply for teaching positions. We will never develop a world-class teaching force when we have draconian accountability schemes, low pay, poor training and political interference.
When we refuse to learn from others, our children will continue to lag behind the rest of the world and so will our country.
Henry L. Pearlberg, Ph.D.