Education

Across the Pond: The 64 Million Dollar Question

By Elizabeth Rich — December 27, 2007 1 min read

According to the BBC, more than 250,000 qualified teachers are no longer working in England’s schools. And between 2000 and 2005, nearly 100,000 switched careers--more than double the number than in the previous five years. The Tories, the country’s conservative party, point to “poor class discipline” and “red tape” among the reasons why teachers are fleeing the profession.

Member of Parliament and Shadow Schools Secretary Michael Gove, a Tory, said that teachers needed to be removed from “government micro-management.” In a statement earlier in the month before Parliament, Gove presented his country’s slipping education numbers: “…We have fallen from fourth to 14th in the international league tables for science, from seventh to 17th for reading, and from eighth to 24th for maths.”

Addressing the issue of classroom discipline, which is high on the list of teacher complaints at home in the United States, Gove asked a familiar question, “Why is there no determination to give teachers the power to impose effective discipline by excluding disruptive pupils without having teachers second-guessed by those outside the school?” Anyone care to tackle that one?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.