Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A Shout Out to Teachers in High Poverty Schools

Contrary to what Bill Gates and Arne Duncan and Andrew Cuomo are telling us, the teaching profession is not loaded with dead weight. Teachers in high poverty schools face conditions that would cause most people to crack under the strain or run screaming out of the building. The people who survive build walls around themselves to handle the pain. But it doesn't mean they are uncaring. Many of them privately comfort and help their students in ways that never show up on test scores. But they are in the cross hairs of the School Reformers- their salaries, their tenure described as the one impediment to a miraculous uplifting of the children of the poor. BULLSHIT!!! There are no miracles in teaching. And those that claim they ARE producing miracles- like the charter entrepreneurs in Success Academies--find ways of "cooking the book,"like pushing out students who have discipline issues or don't test well.

So lets give a shout out to the veteran teachers who stay in high needs schools. They aren't perfect, but they doing a lot more for students, and for justice, than the vast majority of those attacking them


  1. Dr. Naison,
    Thank you for your truthful and thoughtful words on this topic. 22 years ago you inspired me to bring social justice to the poor of The Bronx. I have attempted this as an elementary school teacher in District 9 ever since. Everyday is a challenge. The rewards are many, but they can not be measured by the numbers that those you have mentioned want to pin on teachers. There's way more to this job than testing. The everyday interactions go unnoticed, but the teacher villification never ends. Your words inspire me now as they did then. Thanks.
    -Bill Geelan
    FC '93