"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Public Responds to Boston Globe Editorial Insults to Teachers

From the Boston Globe:

RE "MAKE charter schools a priority" (Editorial, Feb. 22): Innovation and choice are great. The inequitable distribution of resources is not. While charter schools have an upside, they do not serve all students, including our most disadvantaged, disabled, and challenging children.

When was the last time a charter school committed itself to a severely disabled student when the expense was extremely high? When was the last time a regular school kicked out a poorly performing student and sent him or her to a charter school? The Commonwealth should encourage the development of effective charter schools. It also must insist that regular public schools receive the funds required to allow them to be competitive while they remain committed to our most challenging students.

Finally, stop saying charter schools are more innovative and successful. I've worked in schools serving the most challenging students anywhere, and I've been associated with charter schools that work hard to keep challenging kids off their rolls. Real innovation is found in schools where teachers develop the strategies required to educate extremely diverse students. The greatest success comes when you turn around unmotivated, failing students, not when you sustain students who are already motivated and capable.
SID SMITH, Superintendent, Malden Public Schools

IT IS a mystery to me why the Globe feels it necessary to continually insult public school teachers. In your editorial championing charter schools, you end by labeling pre-1993 teaching as "torpid." Do you seriously believe that all public school teachers were uninspired paper pushers before 1993? Do you also believe that moving toward more standardized testing has made Massachusetts teachers more creative and effective?

It's one thing to advance an educational agenda, but the Globe lowers the bar of public discourse when it resorts to sweeping put-downs of public school teachers across the state to make its point.
JOHN V. CALLAHAN, Jamaica Plain

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