American Thinker: As a semi-retired business writer who taught in Detroit 35 years ago, I returned to the classroom because a local high school was unable to replace a Latin teacher who had resigned. I hold an advanced degree in medieval studies and renewed my certification to teach Latin, history, and social studies. Once in class, I witnessed firsthand the politicized atmosphere of today’s factory-style government-monopoly schools.
My first exposure to school politics came when I renewed my certification. The 1982 certificate only listed the courses I could teach. In contrast, the 2018 version had a 300-word “Code of Ethics” that amounted to a profession of faith in collectivism, egalitarianism, state schools, and diversity (typically limited to superficial things like skin color and gender, not ideas). Nonetheless, I proceeded, thinking that I couldn’t possibly make matters worse. That much was correct.
After an interview and teaching a few “test” classes to first- and second-year students, I was hired. Within a few days, however, it was clear that many students did not understand English grammar, much less Latin fundamentals. In response, I taught remedial grammar and outlined how students could pass my course with a “C” or “D.” There were some excellent students, but test scores were not distributed in a bell-shaped curve. It was an “inverted” bell, or bimodal distribution – with scores clumped at the two extremes.
Poor preparation, however, was only the tip of the iceberg. Students did not bring books to class, relentlessly complained about homework, and expected high grades regardless of proficiency. And when I asked questions, I uncovered some alarming facts: