Don’t like what an education reformer has to say? Just call them a teacher basher.
Increasingly, that’s what teachers and others are doing, with this recent blog post on CNN – “When did teacher bashing become the new national pastime?” – being the latest in a long list of examples.
Most of these articles set out straw men. There’s the frequent assertion that we only want to judge teacher performance by one standardized test score (few do). And another that teachers simply face an impossible job with students who are too damaged or too unmotivated to learn (a myth Education Trust dispelled long ago.) Most reformers assert quite properly that a teacher is the heart of the education system and the key to improving it. They should be treated better. They should be valued more highly. But the conundrum seems to be that teachers just don’t seem to believe that anyone can fairly measure what they do, so they collectively have resisted all efforts to implement meaningful performance standards. I find that odd, however, because I have never met a teacher who couldn’t tell me in a couple of minutes who the best and worst teachers in the school are
If we assume a good teacher enables a student to advance quickly and a poor teacher does the opposite, then it becomes difficult to dispute that the teaching profession is horribly broken.