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4 Replies to “Racing To The Top @ The Ed Boards”
From the NYTimes editorial:
The belittling of teachers continues.
Citizens who view our teachers as “inadequate” are the cause of our problems in education. True “reform” will come from people who value education and the people who provide it.
Given that the article specifically references “high poverty schools disproportionately staffed by teachers who were inexperienced, unqualified or teaching in fields that they had not majored in” immediately prior to the statement on teacher inadequacy, it is telling to see criticism in the comment section here about calling these poor teachers inadequate. One wonders what our citizenry, who really “are the cause of our problems in education”, would say to this.
Our citizenry would say, “Get those inadequate blankety blank teachers and dump them.” And then they would say to their children, “Don’t become a teacher. There’s no money in it.” And then these jobs would be left to anyone “with a warm body.” And that’s why we can’t always staff our schools with highly qualified teachers. Common sense should tell us that the problem of “inadequate” teachers is a social one.
In this week’s TIME magazine, the Chinese people are described as “demanding” that their grade school teachers be highly qualified in the field that they teach. Even a grade school teacher will have a degree in mathematics, if that is their subject. In return, their teachers are “revered.” Well, when our citizens demand highly qualified teachers and render them high status and respect, maybe we’ll have these qualified people apply for teaching jobs and keep them. For many years now, our teachers, even the most highly qualified, have had to endure disrespect and even contempt from fellow citizens. (See Frank McCourt’s “Teacher Man”). It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in sociology to see why we have teachers who are “inexperienced, unqualified or teaching in fields that they had not majored in.”
We all know there are inadequate teachers in urban schools, but we disagree on how to rectify this situation. Many citizens think name-calling and humiliation will chase these teachers out of the schools. Others of us believe it will only exacerbate the situation, causing more of our young people to eschew teaching for fields where they can feel appreciated by the general public. If we want good teachers, we’ll have to pay for them and treat them with dignity and respect.