George F. Will: American schools are bloated by expensive non-teaching staff

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    April 6, 2013 7:19 a.m.

    The corruption started with the creation of the Dept of Education in the Carter Adminstration. Schools were doing just fine prior, and we were ranked on top of the world. Now were ranked somewhere around 20th in results. Scuttle the Dept. of Education, and give full responsiblity back to the local govt. and you'll see a turnaround. But, in a selfish world where the adults in charge have there hands out, and put themselves above children, that will not happen.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 5, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    I was halfway through reading the column when I decided to check its date to see if it was published three days earlier on April 1. No such luck. George is taking this stuff seriously and duly sounding the alarm.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    April 4, 2013 3:23 p.m.

    To this and about 99% of all that Mr. Will writes about, I give a heartfelt, "Amen!"

    No truer words have ever been written than those in this article. And, never any more succinctly or articulately expressed.

    The corruption of our system of "education" with blatantly racist/sexist propaganda lies at the root of the problems that have become more and more evident in the last several decades. Included in that system is the insidious propaganda machine of "entertainment", in all its many forms.

    The twin prongs of that educational duopoly have managed to instill in more and more people to believe they are entitled, as representatives of some oppressed group, to all sorts of compensatory goodies, often having nothing to do with their individual situation.

    It has helped perpetuate the institutionalization of racism and sexism in our governments, where the thought of individual rights as a human being have been morphed into rights guaranteed to groups, the direct antithesis of what we need.

    We are going backwards, and it is no more evident than what can be seen (for anyone honest enough to see) in our "education" system.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 4, 2013 3:17 p.m.

    To "Howard Beal" tell me then, why do we need a larger administrative (non-teaching) staff at an elementary school that has a relatively constant enrollment than they had 30 or 40 years ago?

    If the teachers are working harder than ever, why is it that the administrative staff isn't? The administrators don't seem to be working as hard, yet are building small empires at your expense.

    Would you pay a principal who hires more staff than absolutely needed just so that he/she does not have to work as hard?

    Again, my statement stands "Either the school STAFF [emphasis added] is lazier now or else there is more waste in the system."

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    April 4, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    To Irony Guy:

    What's wrong with raising cultural awareness is when it goes way beyond just that, and starts turning into a political propaganda obsession.
    What's wrong with it, is that it gets too much attention and then distracts from more essential learning skills. As the article stated, we are 3rd in the world in education spending from K-12, yet our students are down the ladder over 2 dozen countries in how well our students understand and utilize math and science skills. Unacceptable. We are now a nation that glamorizes cultural diversity (a misnomer to start with) at the expense of excellence. We are becoming more accepting of mediocrity because that's where some students are. And heaven forbid, we don't want to make them feel badly by having anyone outperform them.

    Elevating "diversity" propaganda is another step to the downward spiral in first tolerating and now embracing a form of national socialism, where everything and everyone must be kept equal, even at the expense of innovation and excellence in academics. Sadly, we are getting away from the principles and practices that originally made us such a great nation to begin with.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 4, 2013 2:19 p.m.

    And the pop shots against teachers and others in education keeps coming from Redshirt and others. It's sickening, especially in light of what we saw in Newtown CT, where teachers laid down their lives for their students. Schools are brainwashing students...really? I don't get the conservatives on this post. Are schools teaching anything? Or are they brainwashing? Make a decision already. I'll go for my opinion, that these people aren't lazier, teachers are working harder than ever and because George Will has some nice comments on baseball here or there, makes him no expert in public education.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 4, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    None of the liberals here seem to understand what Will is saying.

    The simple fact is that there are now lots of non-teaching jobs in schools, and those non-teaching jobs cost money. That money could be used to hire more teachers or improve the facilities or simply make education cost less.

    Here is an example. When I was in Elementary school the non-teaching staff consisted of the Principal, Secretary, Janitor, 3 lunch-ladies, and the librarian. Now, that same school with roughly the same number of students has a Principal, 2 secretaries, 2 janitors, 3 lunch ladies, 2 recess patrol women, a computer specialist, and somebody who read the kids stories about their feelings. They have gone from 7 to 13 non-teaching staff. What is the point? Most of the positions have no value added or could be performed by the existing staff.

    Either the school staff is lazier now or else there is more waste in the system.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    April 4, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Public schools are not to educate so much as to brainwash. Once this is accepted all the rest follows. And of course as many as possible will jump a ride on that train: the benefits are good and the pay decent for a nine month year. Not to say there aren't good teachers. I don't know who they are but I imagine they're there and having a hard time fighting the corruption and misuse of public education.

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    April 4, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    I wonder when Will last physically entered a public school. I doubt he even attended one as a student, so the answer could be "never".

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    April 4, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    As usual George's bowtie is on too tight. So the Wisconsin educators are to blame for a hoax perpetrated on their web site? And what's wrong with raising cultural awareness? Isn't that part of the educational process? Isn't that why we read literature and write essays in our history, English, and civics classes? At least 2 of the 3R's are clearly devoted to that kind of critical analysis of our culture.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 4, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    I have news. As a former teacher I can tell you, schools are already bloated.

    But, Mark, it's not because school boards fund teacher unions. That comment is pure nonsense.

    April 4, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    The education establishment has been growing rotten for a long, long time. Reformers try to make changes, but the teacher unions are flatly opposed to anything that upsets their gravy train. More support staff means more union members pumping more money into unions, who help elect the school board members, who reward the unions with more perks and better contracts.

    There is an amazing conflict of interest in this system. If school boards would stop funding teacher unions more money could go to classrooms.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 4, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    That was quite the mental gymnastic exercise by Mr Will to tip toe all around the GOP/Bush championed No Child Left Behind program without ever mentioning it.

    Good job George. You had me worried for a minute.