September 24, 2010

On the Decline of Education

Was listening to a little of MSNBC's Morning Joe this morning and it dawned on me how the teaching profession has experienced a "perfect storm" over the past few decades.

First, as Lawrence O'Donnell pointed out, forty or fifty years ago women didn't have a lot of options in the workplace. So instead of becoming lawyers or physicians you'd have these ridiculously overqualified teachers. Second, on the parochial front you had all these dedicated nuns teaching. Third, there was the breakdown of the family resulting in kids not having parental pressure to do their homework. Fourth you had the unionization of teachers in the '40s and '50s, which were designed to look after themselves and not the children.

Put all those together and voila, it's no wonder we're in the fix we're in today.


Sister Marie said...

I'm a sister and a full-time classroom teacher. Please pray for more vocations so that we can continue to offer Catholic education for the poor both spiritually and financially.

Sister Marie

TS said...

Thanks for the reminder Sister!

Anonymous said...

I attended public schools in a major American city with most of my education taking place in the 50's and 60's. I had some remarkable teachers and many were women. Most of them would be doctors, lawyers, or bankers today.

But please don't overlook the impact of the first generation of children of immigrants, especially Jewish. I attended inner-city schools and the teachers who invested the most time and energy into students were often Jewish. I was always happy to get a Jewish teacher because they seemed to bring an extra measure of dedication and sometimes even joy to the task. Of course, the next generation went into the professions.