Education reform in the Republic of Haven
John, not surprisingly as Richard's son and my own brilliant protégé, got this one pretty much right. The Republic of Haven is intensely motivated at the highest levels to overhaul and upgrade its educational establishment. The fact that they had a revolution (at least one), a civil war, and the restoration of an entirely new/old form of government, with all new governing entities to exercise oversight over the various bureaucracies, helps enormously in their efforts. They've had many opportunities to use a new broom approach. However, they can't really nuke the existing educational establishment down to volcanic glass and simply start over again. They have to fix what's wrong, not simply blow the old system entirely up, and that gives them both advantages and disadvantages. The biggest disadvantage is that while they can get rid of the most incompetent, and the most wrongheaded, they don't have all that many experienced personnel who were allowed to be competent or who were completely immune to the wrongheadedness of the official educational establishment's line. The reformers have to take the best existing educators they've got and use them as the starting point, and that means there are going to be bureaucratic holdovers, mindset holdovers, philosophical holdovers, etc.. Don't get me wrong, they have made -- and are making -- huge strides in fixing the broken windows and backed up toilets of their educational system. They're bringing in teachers and administrators from the outlying star systems where the educational systems suffered the least damage under the Legislaturalists. And they are doing their best to recruit educators from other star nations.
The need to make this sort of a turnabout in the Republic's educational infrastructure was also one thing that Pierre and Saint-Just recognized. So Eloise, Thomas, and friends didn't start cold on fixing the problems. The ideological content of the basic educational system under the Committee of Public Safety became, if anything, even more pronounced than it had been under the Legislaturalists, but Pierre had already started a draconian reduction of the deadwood and begun applying serious pressure to produce positive educational results, at least in the technical fields. (This, by the way, is where lots of the "junior workers" assigned to Bolthole came from.) Pierre had also instituted an equally draconian policy of merit-based promotion (for students and teachers alike) and a system of rewards for superior -- and real -- educational performance.
The Pritchart Administration is busy building upon that foundation. The ideological content has been stripped away (although some of the old régime's sympathizers would argue that it's simply been replaced with a pablum-minded, self-serving, sophomoric worship of the individual and the anarchy of so-called democracy), history and the humanities have been added to the curriculum, and the reforms in content which had already been initiated have been followed up and accelerated wherever possible.
Despite that, it will be quite some time -- several years, at the very least -- before the basic capabilities of the Havenite educational system are up to what you might call first-star nation standards. And it's going to be a while, as well, before they get a sufficient number of homegrown teachers trained up in the "new model" educational system to fill the senior positions, take care of the administrative needs, replace the holdovers amongst the old-line bureaucrats, and get into a sufficient number of classrooms at a sufficiently low teacher-to-student ratio to complete the process.