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.”