Why Aren’t Teachers Fired?

Imagine a business which produces products that are necessary to our everyday lives. Perhaps a company that grows food, or makes antibiotics. Maybe this company has been around for a very long time, and it has a monopoly on the market. Imagine you’ve just had a very serious surgery, and the antibiotics you take are the only thing keeping you from infection. Now, imagine that these antibiotics are failing you. They aren’t working properly. Who, or what would you blame for the failure of the medicine?

Any sane person would lay blame at the feet of the company that makes the antibiotics. You would want to know why they were selling ineffective antibiotics, and you’d want them to make changes. The point is that you would blame the company, not the product.

No company is revered so highly that you cannot criticize them if their product is shoddy. It is for this reason that we have competition, so that poorly run businesses will be forced to improve or fail on the market. This is also why we have laws which prohibit the formation of monopolies. One organization controlling the output of a single product can lead to the degradation and overpricing of that product. So why—understanding that competition produces the strongest results—do we hand over the education of our children to a single public school system?

Moreover, why is it that teachers are so revered that they are beyond criticism? I understand that there are great teachers, but I also know there are bad ones as well. In any other business, if a product is failing, the responsibility for that failure is placed on the shoulders of the company that produces that product. The same should go for teaching. We have failing schools, with kids that can barely read, and we are never allowed to place blame on teachers? That’s absurd.

There is no competition. The unions own everything, and the government owns the unions. Why are teachers treated differently? Our reverence for the profession has blinded us to the fact that the product of teachers is students. When the product fails, where should the blame be placed? There are numerous reasons our public schools are failing, but I simply want to point out that teachers, and the teaching community, should not be beyond criticism. They should not be in a protective bubble which eventually numbs them to their own faults.

I’m tired of teachers being immune to criticism, and blame. Tenure is nonsense, and if a teacher is failing their students, they should be fired.