Being an active member of the academic world, (I understand this isn't exactly voluntary, but I'm a part of it nonetheless) I have to express my status as a grievant against the inner goings-on of the forum that is modern-day education. There was a time, a time long before teacher's unions and things of the like, when teachers were concerned for their jobs. This cause education to be competitive. Whether you felt that you might lose your job to a better teacher, your kids would transfer to a better school, or that your students might just plain drop out all together, you were motivated to be the best educator possible, but things took a very dark turn. The fear of losing such a competition was a far more motivating force than the love of instructing students for some teachers, and, behind the dark curtain that is modern academia, pacts were made. Self-proclaimed "independent school districts" began making rules with no substantial vote from the community in order to protect their own jobs. Schools began to eliminate their own fears one by one. They started with drawing-up the boundaries of districts so you couldn't transfer schools without paying for very expensive private schools. Then, they made it illegal to sue a school without that school board's consent. All of this eventually built up to a point at which it became impossible to fire a teacher based solely on academic skill, and created a world in which you had to have criminal evidence in order to obtain a pink-slip. This caused teachers to become less and less concerned about doing their best as an educator, and more concerned with sucking students and their respective communities dry in any way possible. They fight for more and more money, more and more rights, all while publishing their own teaching materials for personal profit; feeding the monster that is commercial education, and for what? A cushy job with four months off a year. I am appalled every week as I sit in some class where a teacher "doesn't want to do anything" that day, so they push play on some video and sit at their computer "working" the whole class. We are at the climax of this form of commercial education. Recession and economic strife has caused the powers-that-be to finally sit-up and examine these principals that have been so ingrained in society in the last few decades, and it is our choice whether we will let things continue to scale upward, or if we will pressure them into forcing these institutions in the decent toward the goal of a perfect academic world.