3 Useless New York State Education Regulations

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Last week, I sat huddled under a desk for half an hour last week during an active shooter drill, and had some time to think. Two questions were at the forefront in my mind: Why am I curled up uncomfortably under my desk? Why do lockdown drills exist? And only one answer came to my mind: they exist because New York State ordered it. 

How many other regulations and educational practices exist simply because the state said so? Some, surely, are beneficial and exist for the benefit of students. Many others are useless. Here are the three stupidest education regulations from New York State:

3. The “Safety Drill.”  

There is no evidence that hiding under a desk and locking the door will keep me or my kid safe from an active shooter. Yet, New York state and 40 other states decree that all schools must terrify children and waste valuable curricular time on this. In the 1950s, my mother had to do “Duck and Cover” drills in case of a nuclear attack. The “safety drill” makes about as much sense. 

2. Teacher Licensing

New York requires that all teachers have a bachelor’s degree, complete an official teacher certification program, and pass required content exams. All the while, there is little evidence that teacher certification programs actually create better teachers. Nonetheless, New York State requires all instructors to complete an expensive and educationally questionable program, which often amounts to little more than left-wing politics.

3. Masking.    

There has been limited evidence that masking works for children.  There is strong evidence that the vaccine works at limiting health risks of Covid. Even so, the governor of New York State has ordered all students and teachers to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status. The governor has offered no road-map of when this mask-wearing will end. If all students and adults are vaccinated at a school, why will New York State still require masks? Has America had better in-school transmission rates than Britain, which does not require masks in schools, or many US states. The evidence that masking children stymies the spread of Covid-19 is dubious at best, and our policies should reflect that reality.

There are grand policy and instructional visions about how to improve education. Those are obviously worth discussing. But these three clear, onerous regulations that could easily be repealed and bring about a quick improvement in education.

Daniel Morgan
Daniel Morgan is a teacher.

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chalkboard Review team.

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