There is a school in my district where there are really low test scores and a high dropout rate. My school fares much better, and the obvious reason is that we simply have better teachers at my school. Of course, there's a school that does even better, so even though we're pretty darned good, we're not quite the best. Sure, some folks like to point out that the lower-performing school has more students from a lower socio-economic class, and the one that does well is in a relatively wealthy neighborhood. But what does that have to do with anything? George Bush even said that "All children can learn." Are you going to argue with him?
It's also fantastic that we'll finally get rid of all these bad teachers. After all, you might not know this, but there is a virtual army of qualified, talented would-be teachers who just can't break through the front door due to all of these crappy teachers with their "tenure" who aren't making way for this fresh and exciting top talent. Well, fear this no longer!
I remember when I was teaching summer school some years back, there were a couple of teachers who were having a tough time getting a regular job in my district. And let me tell you, these guys were grade-A talent! They commanded so much respect from the kids that they felt comfortable letting the kids wander around the hallways almost a half hour before class was over! That's some pretty good control. I'm not good enough to trust my kids to just go waltzing out the door on a whim. I have to be some kind of crazy control-freak who wants them in the classroom until class is over!
Thank goodness we're not trying to do something and hold the kids and their parents accountable in this scenario. After all, we teachers see these kids for nine months (not counting weekends and holiday breaks) a year. How can parents compete with us for the hearts and minds of their children? I'm sure that there are a lot of parents who have books around their house, take time to talk to their kids about world events, science, and literature, and yet they still can't get their kids enthused due to the horrible job that some of these teachers are doing.
And how can we expect the kids to learn when they have better things to do? Some of them would rather hang out with their friends than do their homework. Well, maybe that homework is hella boring and gay. If these crappy teachers would stop giving such hella gay boring retarded assignments, then maybe the kids would be more enthusiastic about going to school and would actually start trying! One thing's for sure, if they're not learning, it certainly can't be their fault. If some kid only shows up to class once a week, sleeps through the class, and doesn't do any of his or her work, clearly it's the teacher's fault.