Teachers love this past week. It’s Christmas break (or “winter” break for the politically correct) after all, which allows them to 1) catch up on much needed sleep, and 2) catch up on much needed sleep.
Well, the teachers who care and know what they’re doing, at any rate.
Although it’s been a number of years now, I remember the need for this break quite well. My wife and several former colleagues are still plugging away in the classroom, and as such still clamor for this respite.
I got together recently with some of those colleagues, and based on what I heard from them about what’s happening in the school … the forecast isn’t all that good.
What’s to come in 2024? Education Week’s Larry Ferlazzo, a teacher and former Alinskyite community organizer, recently offered his predictions which include Joe Biden being re-elected and then — surprise! — throwing more cash to the teachers unions in 2025.
Needless to say I have a somewhat different take.
1. The (public school) teacher shortage will continue. And it’s not pay, nor Republican policies which are at fault. It’s student discipline — which continues to be horrible in the post-COVID era. Many teachers I know are clamoring to get out — either retire or move to a charter/private school where expectations of behavior actually are enforced. The blame for this situation isn’t so much on parents as milksop school administrators and counselors who coddle and prioritize chronically misbehaving students at the expense of the vast majority.
For example, Ed Week’s Ferlazzo believes the “frenzied panic” over students having cellphones at school can “simply” be resolved by requiring the devices to be kept in backpacks when in class. As if telling kids to do just that is sufficient. What happens when they don’t listen and then school admins don’t do anything about it?
Oh, admins might hold a restorative justice session where a counselor will talk to the student about why he’s constantly on his phone. Which ultimately means the kid will keep taking his phone out in class because he knows there are no actual consequences!
2. The school culture wars will intensify to the Nth degree. No matter who wins the 2024 election, the culture wars not only will continue in our schools but will massively intensify. (If the GOP wins the presidency, we won’t see any counter-effects until 2025 anyway.) The Left will continue to yammer about book “bans” and “terrorist” behavior from parents who merely questioned the insanity of board members and school officials regarding age appropriateness of materials and far-left curricula.
And what do I mean by “far-left curricula”? Just stuff that results in this scary survey. How could this be allowed to happen? Too much emphasis on silly non-academic endeavors and critical theory, that’s how.
3. The Left will lie like never before about the Republican presidential nominee. Currently, it’s likely to again be Donald Trump which means the usual “DEMOCRACY HANGS IN THE BALANCE!!” garbage will be plastered all over the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, NBC, CBS, etc. If it’s Ron DeSantis, his moves in Florida regarding the teaching of critical theory-based lessons on race and gender will be transformed into stuff like “he wants LGBTQ people put in concentration camps” and doesn’t want students to know about U.S. slavery and the historical maltreatment of black Americans.
If it’s anyone else (unlikely), they’ll too be turned into the Devil incarnate. Heck, they did it to Mitt Romney, after all.
4. Charter/private schools and homeschooling will continue to expand. What do you expect of normal folk when you eradicate merit and common sense discipline, and indoctrinate kids in every leftist theory du jour? The teachers unions did themselves no favors during COVID, and folks like Corey DeAngelis and Chris Rufo aren’t going to let them forget it.
Nevertheless (and tying into #2 above), folks like Harvard’s Elizabeth Bartholet will continue to prattle about the “threat to children and society” that homeschooling represents. Given current events, my advice is to mock and/or ignore any Bartholets you see on TV or read about.