This podcast is the result of a few conversations, and an idea that I read about in Bill James’ Historical Baseball Abstract. James brought up the speed (or lack thereof) of baseball games and how it became that way. The umpires of the old days were moved along by the setting of the sun. Those umpires trained a generation of umps who continued the tradition – but as night baseball became ubiquitous the need to ‘move the game along’ vanished. Now you have long, boring interminable baseball games.
School teachers are a reflection of the same phenomenon. The teachers who started teaching in the 50’s and 60’s learned their craft in a difficult, non unionized, non tenured environment. The harsh conditions created determined, capable, smart and dedicated teachers. If you weren’t a teacher with those qualities you were fired. Those teachers trained the next generation of teachers – and the idea of being held accountable. As unionization, tenure and collectivism infiltrated and then took over the teaching profession, the teacher trainers and the teachers themselves now no longer need to create a great product. Their jobs don’t rely upon results or quality. Now you have long, boring, interminable classes.