How should the government judge teachers' abilities. Oftentimes, this is a blackhole of political positions and arguments as teachers yearn for stability and congressman yearn for votes. How can one judge a teacher's ability in the classroom? Since this 'ability' is often described as a vague and ambiguous thing (and whatever argument specifies this supposedly unspecifiable is met with a mere glance at "teaching to the test"), this is normally the end of any cogent attempt to better public education. However, if this argument was allowed to proceed and gain momentum, would it not destroy most of the professions that are commonly held to?
After all, are the 'ratings' the best way of judging the artistic quality of a television show? The most academic answer would of course be no, but there is still an understanding that the show is there for the purpose of making money and entertaining. Obviously, this is not an argument that leads all actors to band together and refuse to be fired from a show just because the audience doesn't like them.
However, when it comes to public teaching, this is often ignored. Teachers will readily admit that their purpose is to educate students, but if they are subsequently judged on said standard (note that I'm not arguing toward any particular standard here), this will be said to be an unjustifiable attack on their ability. After all, some students just don't want to learn, they will often say.
But so what? Why are these ideas left to stand when the same principles can not rightly be applied elsewhere in the working enviornment? It's because the government is controlling education. Since the federal government has set themselves up as the sole deciders of all that is just and fair, for them to be overly harsh on some particular group (particularly in an area so sensitive as education) would seem roughly hypocritical and would be a self destructive act.
This, which is nothing more than one more article pointing towards the inefficiencies of the government when compared to businesses, is a powerful problem in any debate regarding the viable future of any public service in an uncertain future. Until the educational system realizes that it is a business, we will have to continue waddling in this tendentious muck of confusion.