WHAT AILS PIMA COLLEGEby Lyn Olsen on Sep. 04, 2012, under Education
WHAT AILS PIMA COLLEGE, AILS AMERICA
For a good public administrator/educator, two primary objectives of a job well done are protecting the well-being of the organization and obtaining as much money as possible for it; it is that they have done their job too well that is the problem.
To protect the well-being of the organization, it is believed that public employees must be able to act without impunity, that is to act with exemption from punishment or loss, so that their decisions are not negatively influenced by corrupt outsiders. To achieve this, public administrators/educators have built impenetrable walls around the public institutions, but the people they keep out are the people they are supposed to serve. These walls are reinforced by mountains of paperwork and regulations and highly-taxpayer-funded lawyers which make it impossible for any ordinary person to hold any public servant accountable for any action, no matter how grievous. The role of the public administrator/educator then is to deny any wrong so they are not responsible and to blame anyone else, but the problem is that you can’t fix a problem if you can’t admit what is wrong.
One of the greatest measures of the success of a public administrator/educator is how much money they can get, and to do so they use many excuses including they need money to hire the best people so they can provide quality, but neither of those have proven to be true – instead – money hires people who want money rather than who is the best which is devastating in public education because money then replaces students as the purpose. When the best people are not hired, unqualified public administrators/educators are hired who act without accountability and responsibility as though nothing they do matters, but recent events and outcomes speak otherwise.
Although devastating to individual students but certainly least of the destructive outcomes are soaring tuition rates, student debt, book costs, and administrator salaries oftentimes accomplished through less than honest and fair practices accompanied by decreasing positive and productive student contact with teachers and school administrators/staff and diminishing student successes. Greatest of the destructive outcomes would be some of the recent tragic events in this country in which many of us would prefer to believe that nothing we do mattered, but conversely we don’t really want to believe that either because it would mean that we can’t prevent anything bad from happening and that we can’t make anything good happen.
Perhaps the true diverting of the dream in public higher education was been the shift of focus to money and away from public educators’ responsibility to students, which is ironical since public educators are some of the greatest proponents of liberalism. What our public institutions and schools need to fix their problems is for those who created them to stop blaming everyone else and accept responsibility.