I retire this year as a speech pathologist for the public school system with a heavy heart knowing how low education has sunk.

I am passionate about my work and am very accomplished in my field. However, since the creation of the Department of Education and the Federal Government involvement in local school districts our education system nationwide has declined. From establishing Law 94142, now called IDEA, to No Child Left Behind, special and general education teachers are drowning in unnecessary paper work.

We are constantly told that if we don’t dot our Is and cross our Ts we are opening ourselves up for a lawsuit. There is a whole cottage industry that has grown around lawyers and advocates milking parents and school districts for money or they will seek a resolution in a court setting. Some do a good job of advocating for students’ rights, but there is always the threat of a lawsuit. Countless hours are spent in meetings when we should be teaching students.

Schools must hire only the most highly qualified administrators, specialists and teachers, fire those whose performance is questionable, then stand aside and let these individuals work with the students.

Let them be creative, spend more time with children and if we feel the need to spend money on education do so with the thought of providing enrichment for all students. Believe me students will thrive and grow. In 1974, when I began my career, we didn’t have the government interference and everyone looked forward to coming to school, sharing ideas and helping colleagues explore new teaching methods.

It was like living in the Renaissance of education. No more. The federal and state government needs to stop micro managing the schools.