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The erosion of the American middle class and the relentless attack on the standard of living of the American work force is dramatized by two dominant tendencies in education policy:

Dominant Education Policies

How Dominant Education Policies Help Shrink Middle Class—Mark Naison

  • The dependence on low wage adjunct instructors—many of whom are as qualified as tenured faculty—to do the bulk of the teaching in the nation's colleges and universities.
  • The privatization of public education and the use of test based teacher evaluation, invasive management and charter school promotion to create a teacher work force which is unstable, non-unionized and not around long enough to collect pensions.
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The net result is that our most talented college graduates can no longer realistically view university or public school teaching as careers which can provide stability, security, autonomy and high levels of job satisfaction.

Ironically, both of these trends in education policy and management are promoted and implemented by administrators who, following the CEO model in the private sector, compensate themselves extravagantly.

This is not only our future, it is for all to many teachers and teachers in the making, our present.

If I were graduating from college today, there is no way someone with my personality and skills could imagine becoming a teacher, much less a professor. I could not accept the humiliating conditions of employment that most people entering the profession, at every level, are forced to accept.


Mark Naison
With A Brooklyn Accent