Truex Topics

Prognosis is Poor
You’ve been diagnosed as having a tumor on the brain. It’s not cancerous but it is enlarging and if it’s not removed, it will kill you. This has been confirmed by two Radiologists after a serious of MRI’s, tests, and exams.
The consulting physician calls you to his office and informs you of this devastating diagnosis. But the words which come next are even more dire. There are no neurosurgeons available to perform he operation. Not anywhere. “What am I going to do?” you gasp. “I’m sorry,” the doctor says “other than making you as comfortable and pain free as possible, there is nothing more to be done.”
This horrifying situation, thank goodness, is a fiction. Of course the surgery will be successful. Of course the story will have a happy ending, but there are other stories which might not have such a happy ending. We are living through one right now. This sad story has to do with our public schools.
Imagine that our public schools in Mississippi are the patient. Our fictional lack of neurosurgeons is the lack of qualified and dedicated teachers. Unfortunately, this story is not fictional. It is fact.
We are facing a tragic future unless we recognize the problem and move to correct it. I’m not being a doom sayer. I’m afraid that if we don’t do this, the results will be fatal for society as we know. It is that serious! How can this be?
There is a rather simple explanation. We cannot find teachers for public school classrooms. Our colleges and universities just aren’t producing tem anymore. They are making other “products” to fill the needs of a modern, marker place society.
In today’s market, income wise teaching comes in right at the bottom of professions. We simply cannot pay teachers enough to get new ones into the classroom. Our tax bas and low budgets cannot support higher pay. It’s just not worth four years of study and sacrifice to start out at a salary barely one half the average for other professions.
In addition to pay, one must figure in the current teaching atmosphere which includes, disruptive students, a lack of professional and familiar support, the general absence of family direction and the constant drive to “teach to the test.” Couple these with the lack of attention to detail that is the hallmark of many in the current generation of students. Why would anyone want this?
We read of teachers waking up in the morning dreading the day ahead, and suffering “teacher burnout.” It is no wonder that our colleges of education in Mississippi are graduating fewer than 65% the numbers of just 10 years ago. Every year fewer and fewer.
In medicine, we rate the prognosis for recovery on a sliding scale. Currently, the prognosis for our public schools in poor. What do we do when there aren’t just anymore teachers? States cannot draft teachers like a nation does when they need soldiers.
Everything in the economy today, even agriculture, requires learned knowledge. Where will our young people get that knowledge? I read recently that there are hundreds of thousands of unfilled jobs nationally because there is a lack of qualified workers.
The choices society faces are grim unless we can find a solution to this problem. No one wants to hear that the prognosis is terminal.