Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Why Politics in Education is a Huge Problem


Presidents and Senators are unsuitable for running educational institutions just like they are unsuitable for running sites of construction work. It is high time that the education system reflected this to curb the educational crises being experienced currently due to political interference.

The corporate paradigm's principal flaw, as is frequently noted in the pop-culture, is the dehumanising and mind-boggling impact of widespread bureaucracy. The political-class bureaucracy can be horrifying. However, the arguments against or for the free market forces in the education system may be completely misleading if key stakeholders do not manage to address the corrosive role of bureaucracy in the education system.

Public education is essentially an extension of a country's political system, which results in educational institutions being used as vehicles for the implementation of mandates and agendas of the political class. For instance, over the past three decades, the education system has been federalised via direct and indirect dynamics. The "Race to the Top" and the "No Child Left Behind" political manifestos and agendas were a direct way of federalizing the education system in the United States of America. On the other hand, the "A Nation at Risk" agenda was an indirect effort at federalising the public education system.

Currently, there are claims about the entire education system masking a superbly crucial call of confronting and even dismantling the bureaucratic system, which has crippled the whole education system in the United States.

Deconstructing How Political Interference Is Crippling the Education System

Bureaucracy, by and large, is an abstraction and is used by critics as a convenient point to ridicule the education system. However, unless the key stakeholders in the education system unpack what aspects of bureaucracy are negatively impacting the education system. Bureaucracy is flawed largely because it assumes that leadership is essentially a primary quality that people are born with instead of something born out of the expertise. Bureaucracy is constrained to philosophical and sociopolitical resolutions without making identifications and clarifications of the existent problems.

Bureaucracy is virtually inevitable as a practice and policy of various governments. Nonetheless, the principal flaw in the necessity for the structured hierarchy is the preference of leadership traits to experience and expertise in leadership. No politician can be an expert and have vast experience in all major areas that need to be addressed by leadership. Nevertheless, in the course of the "era of accountability" in the education sector over the past thirty years, the role played by political figures such as Presidents and State Governors became greater than before. It is not uncommon for politicians to use the education sector as a campaigning pivot for their political endeavors and ambitions.

The most notable flaw in the bureaucratic system of managing educational institutions is the trickle-down impact coming from the political figures such as Governors to Superintendents in the education sector and chairs of school boards of management. Individuals with very little or no expertise or understanding in the running educational institutions hold positions of leadership where they are responsible for the making and the implementation of education policies. This has obvious impacts on the education system.

Politics breeds bureaucracy, bureaucracy confers authority and hierarchical structures on the education system, thus allowing for and perpetuating leadership in the education sector by leaders who lack experience and the requisite expertise for running the education system. The repercussions of this include some of the most obvious reasons why reforms in the education system have failed previously and continue to hit a snag:

  • Unskilled and inexperienced leadership is philosophically committed to coming up with solutions on various issues and implementing those solutions without digging deeper to uncover the root cause of the issues affecting the education system.
  • Inexperienced leadership with constant reshuffles of the administrations in educational institutions is only appropriate for the implementation of repeatedly similar solutions while expecting different outcomes.
  • Bureaucracy in leadership in the education system due to the interference of politics leads to acting on faith in the efficacy of personality.

Severing Ties Between Politics and Education

Probably the most politicised issue in the education system in recent years is the use of professional custom writing services by students, especially college kids, in getting their writing assignments done. Numerous politicians have criticised the system of using professional writing services for churning out essays to students who need the writing help. The use of writing services has been equated to cheating to get academic qualifications undeservedly. It is difficult, however, to comprehend the politicians' arguments against the use of professional writing services due to their conflict of interest and some of them having business interests in a majority of giant agencies perpetrating this practice. Therefore, despite the politicians being well-meaning in the fight against this now prevalent practice, their lack of objectivity in the issue taints their well-intentioned efforts.

That being said, the education system needs a wall a paralleling wall separating the education system, the federal government, and the corporate world. The responsibility of funding educational institutions and keeping the key performance indices in check through broad benchmarks of performance can still be vested in the politicians, but the fine details of managing the educational system should be vested in the experienced educators and education administrators. 

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Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
246 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street
London W1B 5TB
United Kingdom
Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames