I have been dealing directly in public education in Georgia for the past 46 years, as a teacher, coach, administrator, and teacher advocate. I’ve experienced a thing or two in public education. I also grew up in a family of public school educators, immediate family and extended family — teachers and administrators. Public education is in our blood. I authored a tome (about 675,000 words) on the ills of public education in America entitled, The MACE Manifesto: The Politically Incorrect, Irreverent, and Scatological Examination of What is Wrong with American Public Education.
When you shine the calcium light of truth on what is the chief problem in American Public Education (APE), there is one enormous problem which affects everything going on in public education: The teachers have been stripped of their authority in the classroom. That it in a nutshell. In the old days, the teacher was the king or queen of his or her classroom. The teacher’s word and authority was sacrosanct. The administrators trusted the teacher’s professional knowledge, judgment, and wisdom. After all, the teacher was a professional, having earned at minimum a bachelor’s degree in education.
The MACE Mantra from the inception of MACE has been this: “You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.” This an axiomatic truth. It cannot be successfully disputed. It is a law (principle of action) just as is the law of gravity. You may try to dispute it or ignore it but you do so at your own peril. Walk off the roof of a house and see what happens. The same is true of MACE’s Law of Learning. Denigrate teachers, undermine teachers, and question teachers in front of students and parents and see what happens. Chaos emerges and takes over a classtoom. Learning does not take place. I still never cease to be amazed at how EDAs (educational dumbasses) masquerading as “school leaders” think that they can improve learning by running roughshod over classroom educators. They are operating upon a false theory. It cannot be done. MACE calls this “leadership by intimidation.” It doesn’t work. What works is “leadership by inspiration,” but how many of these types of school administrators are still around? They are a vanishing breed. Near extinction. If you teach on a staff with an inspiring administrator, count your many blessings.
One thing about the intimidating administartors is this: They are bullies, and they get nervous when they hear that MACE is is around. There’s not an administrator in the state whom MACE is afraid of. Contrariwise, they all have a healthy respect of MACE.
MACE is about the protection and empowerment of classroom educators…one member at a time. For 25 years, MACE has richly earned its reputation.