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Heroes, Not Villains

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson gets it. He’s has enough of the teacher bashing that passes for education reform in some quarters.

It has become fashionable to blame all of society’s manifold sins and wickedness on “teachers unions,” as if it were possible to separate these supposedly evil organizations from the dedicated public servants who belong to them. News flash: Collective bargaining is not the problem, and taking that right away from teachers will not fix the schools.

He goes on:

The fact is that teachers are being saddled with absurdly high expectations. Some studies have shown a correlation between student performance and teacher “effectiveness,” depending how this elusive quality is measured. But there is a whole body of academic literature proving the stronger correlation between student performance and a much more important variable: family income.

Yes, I’m talking about poverty. Sorry to be so gauche, but when teachers point out the relationship between income and achievement, they’re not shirking responsibility. They’re just stating an inconvenient truth.

The whole thing is worth a read »

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1 Comment:

  • 1 phyllis c murray
    · Sep 19, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Blaming teachers and their unions for all societal ills is unfair. Teachers’ unions advocate for teachers as well as students. Evidence of this is visible as School Safety and Health becomes a priority on union agendas. Since the school environment provides the stage where education takes place, sick schools and emotionally toxic environments are not safe for teacher nor child. Therefore changing these conditions is imperative. Yes,” teachers (and their unions) are heroes not villains and its time to stop demonizing them.” Support them! http://www.americantowns.com/ny/bronx/news/inside-education- on-building-a-better-school-building-10941301.