Bulldoze School Bureaucracy
America’s public schools are drowning in law. There is a rule for everything—so many that teachers and administrators cannot possibly know them all. Fear of getting dragged into a legal proceeding has made educators defensive. They hang back when they should act. Many schools seem to be run by rules instead of by people.
We need to replace bureaucracy with accountability. There’s no need to tell people how to do their jobs if they can be accountable when they fail. But accountability doesn’t mean the traditional union approach of formal due process, which assumes judgments can be proved by objective facts. How do you prove who’s trying hard, or who has a knack for holding student interest? Bureaucracy is intended as a crutch for ineffective teachers. But it ends up suffocating the good teachers. The only solution is to bulldoze bureaucracy, and replace it with accountability. Accountability is the price of freedom.