You don’t understand, it’s very complicated.

treasure.jpg     Earlier in my life I was as a classroom teacher. I worked in a few different schools teaching math at the secondary level.

     Being who I am I was always interested in the structure of the educational establishment. At your average large public high school there are several assistant principals. They keep pretty busy helping out with discipline and sometimes running the athletic department. Above them is a whole other bureaucracy at the district level. Never quite sure what the district people do but whenever they showed up on campus the event was sure to be exceedingly boring. Oh, they handled payroll, benefits, something called career ladder (of which the other teachers did not seem to think very highly), centralized procurement, personnel, etc. Then there was the Arizona Department of Education, which handled licensing so we can be sure that every teacher in the classroom has passed the same test. I think they also collect statistics on which schools have half of their kids fail the math portion of AIMS. After getting my certification I never had much to do with them so I do not know what else they were up to. I am sure they have a nice sized budget though. And then of course to top it all off is the U.S. Department of Education. They take money from the residents of each state, run it through the bureaucracy and then send some of it back to the states, usually after someone at one the of the districts has written a very nice grant proposal to justify returning a small portion of it. This is called “helping the states.”

     In all of this I never understood the need for the individual counties to have their own little separate departments of education. I know there was a really good reason and that I was just ignorant. To my relief I finally found an article in the paper that explains why each county has their own separate little office to work on the same things that each school, district, state, and the federal government are doing. Now I know.

Tuesday 11-21-06, 12:05 am

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