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Goosing the DOE

It’s official. Canada geese have been implicated as the cause of the nearly disastrous plane landing on the Hudson River recently. The pilot, “Sully” Sullenberger saved more than 150 lives by pulling off a miracle made possible not by mere luck or apocryphal divine intervention purely but rather through application of judgment developed over 40 years of professional experience.

That hard-core, real-life experience probably made the difference between life and death. Nobody denies that. Everybody is content to accept its redemptive property. After all, who would rather entrust their loved ones to a pilot straight out of flight school than to the Hudson River hero or choose a newly-minted surgeon over a veteran master of the scalpel? A practitioner’s superior depth of experience is universally recognized as an asset in any profession. Except the education racket in places like New York City.

Here it is viewed with suspicion and treated as a liability and threat. Perhaps that is due in part to senior teachers having too much “institutional memory” and knowing too much about the DOE’s skeletons and lurid misdirection. These teachers’ healthy resistance to indoctrination, bluff, and insipid vogues makes them ripe for entrapments and intimidation.

With the complicity of some corporate partisans, union-allergic “think tanks,” tabloids (especially those founded by Alexander Hamilton) and self-labeled “reformers,” and stroked by certain teachers colleges and profiteering DOE contractors and consultants, many of our best and brightest teachers are being demoralized and pushed under the bus into retirement, sometimes under a cloud of phony charges of wrongdoing tailor-made to force their surrender.

It’s a good thing that the DOE doesn’t run the airline industry (which has respect for seniority and work rules) or else the police activity in the Hudson River lately would probably have been a recovery rather than a rescue operation. If the DOE were in charge of safety and the integrity of vessels in the sky, their preference would be that “Sully” be sitting on a rubber room stool preparing to defend his license.

The DOE can re-route our best classroom navigators but they cannot put teaching and learning on “automatic pilot.”



  • 1 bklyned
    · Jan 26, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    The difference is that the experts in the airline industry safely depart and land with a 99.9999% success rate. The historical track record of expert educators is about 50%. Would you fly with an expert that was only successful in getting you to your destination 50% of the time? Probably not.

  • 2 phyllis c. murray
    · Jan 26, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Teaching is a noble profession. The esteem, reverence, and awe which students hold for their
    teachers is often captured in the students’ words. In 2006 our students wrote about their teachers. They were writing about teachers who were professionals in every meaning of the word. Through the children’s words, you can see how “A practitioner’s superior depth of experience ” made a difference in the academic life of each child. Surely, a qualified teacher in a classroom can mean the difference between the students’ academic life or death because the students’ future depends so desperately on the quality of their education.


    Written by Bibana ~Ashanti ~~Jamal~~Ellenah
    ~~Diana ~~John Henry ~~and Mohammed

    A teacher is a symbol of learning: a leader of learners and a miracle to education.

    A teacher is an educational god that leads us to goodness while caring for our learning spirits.

    A teacher is the captain of our educational journey; Exact about everything.

    A teacher has the courage enough to teach; And knows
    mostly all the answers.
    Teachers become our heroic inspiration.

    Teachers educate us with all of their knowledge. Smart and spirited, teachers can make our brains work like computers.
    Yet, our teachers can also hold our hands when we need it.

    Teachers reach to the sky to get what we need; And exit a subject just at the right time.

    A teacher possesses the academics and grace that we all love. Teachers care for us in every imaginable way.

    Our teacher is the hero in our learning lives.

    Education is the key to success. That is what our teachers have taught us.

    Teachers are a class struggle in liberty: Believing in kids; Reaching out to kids; And instilling pride within all of us.

    Our education is important to our teachers. Therefore our teachers struggle hard to teach every student: Checking exams after school; explaining things so they are easier;
    And reading to us or teaching us how to read.

    Each one of our praises we give. And for everything our teachers do, we will thank them today, tomorrow and always.

    Editor: Phyllis C. Murray

    NB This piece was created by the Fifth Graders of P.S.75x to honor their teachers: Ms Sharin Terado, Mrs.Gisella Montalvo, and Mrs. Elena Garcia.