Nothing sticks in the craw of a neolib more than the issue layoffs. Man, they like to fire them some teachers. But, according to Mitt Romnah, we can’t “kill” our way out of this. Absolutely. If we persist in the conference upon teachers perpetual blame, scorn, scrutiny, and pathetic remuneration, then I’m not quite sure where these neolibs think we’re going to get these star teachers. It seems foolish for any young, intelligent, and motivated student to take on thousands of dollars worth of debt for a teaching degree under those conditions.
Thus, enter the neolib solution to this problem: dismantle the professionalism and credentialing of educators. Separate the certification of teaching from a university education, or undergraduate degree. Downplay teaching as a skillful practice requiring wisdom, experience, and practice. Plunk down a scripted curriculum, objective outcomes based measurements, and you have a new system capable of sustaining teachers as interchangeable parts.
Last in First Out, or LIFO, seems to an experienced educator like myself to be one of the oddest and most insignificant problems facing us in the classroom. Of everything out there affecting the lives of young persons, why this perverse, Trump-like obsession with firing? Ah, yes, but you have to sit and think about it. Seniority, due process, and other protections afforded to professions are clearly a HUGE obstacles to the transformation of teaching to clerical, casual labor. Therefore, cheaper, efficient, “innovative,” and easier to control.