Friday, May 2, 2014

On the Hunt for "Bad Teachers"

The percentage of "Bad Teachers" in our public schools is probably no higher than Bad Principals, Bad Superintendents, Bad Commissioners, Bad Politicians, and Bad Philanthropists. Yet people in every walk of life seem obsessed with getting rid of them. This isn't a well thought out policy position. it is more like a form of communal Magic, a ritual to rid to rid ourselves of Demons, real and imagined. We have met the enemy and they are Teachers! WRONG! You have found a convenient scapegoat for the nation's failures- especially the profound inequalities embedded in our economic and political system, our vanishing liberties and the economic forces shrinking our middle class. And when the smoke has cleared and the witch hunt ends, you will find that among the victims will be the BEST TEACHERS who cannot stand seeing their entire profession maligned and their autonomy and creativity undermined while the schools are turned inside out and upside down and turned into Test Factories.

I have a suggestion When you have finally figured out your obsession isn't working, why don't you start over and stop worrying about Bad Teachers and start thinking about what you need to do to attract and keep Great Teachers. And lo and behold, what you will find is that the thing that will attract them is the very thing you are denying every teacher right now- Autonomy and Respect.