August 2009 Your Turn

Public schools are failing our students. Teachers have it easy. The administration is top-heavy. Districts have all the money they need.

You’ve probably heard these before. Many myths exist about public education, probably because most adults attended public schools at some time or another and feel they have a pretty good idea what goes on there -- and what’s wrong with them.

A case in point, from Virginia board member Louise Carlton:

“It is always stated that educators are wasting money and doing nothing, plus that our schools are dangerous places. This is not true. Our schools are one of the safest places anyone can be. In all of the schools where I have been an employee or a school board member, we have worked diligently to get the most for the money. Most educators that I know give a great portion of their money to enhance the educational program.”

Or consider this observation from Texas superintendent Paul Vranish:

“The public has little understanding of the effect that school boards have in the classroom. Good boards that put students before politics deserve much more credit than what they receive.”

When asked if the public’s view of public education is accurate, 63 percent of you answered a qualified yes, “with some significant gaps and misconceptions.” Another 26 percent said the public’s view is “highly distorted,” 5 percent felt it’s “pretty accurate,” and another 5 percent chose “none of the above.”

But what about those myths? Here are some more:

 Would you like to continue reading?
Subscribers please click here to continue reading. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to purchase this article or to obtain a subscription to ASBJ.