I'm writing this blog from the perspective of someone who has nearly two decades of experience on the subject.
If you haven't noticed, elementary schools are run by women. It's true there are a few male teachers here and there. But for the most part, women make up the majority of teaching positions in elementary schools.
I'm not sure if it's because teaching doesn't pay enough to attract men who want to be the sole providers for their families. Maybe men don't have a desire to be surrounded by women all day long. My experience has been that a lot of these female teachers get mad at their husbands and then show up at work only to take this anger out on the nearest guy they are working with.
Women teachers are different than men teachers. Women are all about self-esteem and helping the kiddos feel good about themselves. The kids get stickers everytime they tie their shoes or blow their noses in a tissue. There are awards like courage, honesty, perseverence every month. In fact, in one school I taught at the policy was that every student got an award for something each year.
Soon these kids end-up getting trophies for being on a team that managed fourth place in baseball. They get trophies just for showing-up. The kids don't feel like they should have a trophy for fourth place, just ask them. They will be honest.
What this has produced is a generation of people who feel entitled. They think they are entitled to a job once they graduate college. If you don't believe me, just look at the Occupy Wall Street movement. There are lots of jobs these folks could be doing. However they don't want just any job. They are holding out for something more, something they feel entitled to.
But the problem just spirals because many of these kids go into education for their livelyhood. They become teachers, principals or administrators and they simply continue the cycle. The teachers end up producing a group of teacher pleasers, the principals focus on whether or not the halls look colorful and pleasing to the eye, and administrators hire these types because they have no common sense.
I think a good experiment would be to have an elementary school with only male teachers versus one with only female teachers. The outcomes would be very different.
In the male-dominated school, the kids would learn they have to earn their awards. Not everyone is going to get a sticker and you blow your nose in a tissue because it's polite and doesn't spread germs.
In a school with only male teachers, the students would know that you walk quietly in the halls not because you'll get a piece of candy, but because you don't want to disturb the other students in their classrooms.
Maybe it would be a good thing if schools were actually judged on the outcomes they produce. If a school district can't meet even the easiest of standards, everyone gets fired and the whole mess gets reworked.
On Ebay, you have a rating based on several factors. Maybe schools should have a rating system and give parents a choice. This might cause the school districts to actually care about the types of things they focus on and the types of students they are producing.