TT # 26 – The Leaking Ship

Traditionalist teacher has recently discovered one of the great frustrations of having recently published a book.  While the writing and editing process continues, it is always possible that the writer will have a brainstorm which will improve the overall quality of the book.

Unfortunately, sometimes the brainstorms come after the book has been published.  Such is the case with the content of this posting.

Assume for a moment that you are on a ship.[1]  As the cruise continues, people begin to notice that the lever of the water appears to be rising.  Since this is impossible, the watchful among the passengers have no choice but to conclude that the ship is slowly sinking.

Wanting to avoid panic, the observant passengers quietly approach the officers of the ship with their concerns.  At first, the officers deny that there is any problem, even to themselves.  However, as time goes on, the situation grows gradually more dire.  Other passengers, less circumspect than the others, begin to notice that a few areas on the lower decks have water on the floors – water that was not there a few days ago. The officers are forced to begin the search for a solution.

However, their search is limited.  They are so certain that the ship is well constructed that they do not inspect large areas on the hull of the ship.  Wanting to convince the increasingly concerned passengers that they are taking action, they begin fixing visible parts of the ship.  These are not the parts that are leaking – and the officers know it – but the passengers are temporarily placated.

The ship continues to take on water, and evidence of this fact gradually accumulates.  Those who first noticed the problem grow more vocal.  The officers, citing the need to prevent panic, lock the malcontents in the brig – located in the increasingly waterlogged lowest deck.  Others can see the problems with the ship, but say nothing because they are afraid of being drowned in the brig.

This is the current state of American education.  The ship is sinking.  The passengers who are in the best position to see the danger are those teachers who know that their students are not learning.  Those teachers who speak out are fired or are disciplined in other ways – they lose their tenure, receive unsatisfactory evaluations, or are made out to be the “real reason” that the schools are failing.  Other teachers, hoping that the ship will stay afloat until they reach the port of retirement, say nothing.

The reasons that the ship is sinking, as well as the reasons that the officers are not repairing it, can be seen in Traditionalist Teacher’s new book, Can America’s Schools be Saved – How the Ideology of American Education is Destroying It, is available through the author’s page at or  through Amazon.  Please consider reading and reviewing it.

[1] Traditionalist Teacher wants to take this opportunity to credit Mr. John Horvat, whose book Return to Order uses a cruise ship analogy to describe the social and economic situation of modern day America.  Those with an interest in reading this important work can obtain a copy of it through the Return to Order website at

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