Teachers Losing Ground

I think many of us have the sense that teachers are losing ground. My older sister and her husband were both teachers, then administrators, during what now look like the glory years of public education. One of the friends I most admire was a teacher, administrator, and finally a superintendent of schools in Massachusetts. Florence wanted to be a lawyer but bright young girls from 1930’s Flatbush mostly weren’t, Brooklyn neighbor RBG notwithstanding. My friend Ada taught both of my kids in elementary school. My friend Sally was a teacher and a building administrator. These are all exceptionally bright women who, had they come of age today, could have been anything.

A good teacher can make a world of difference in a child’s life. One that is unkind or inept can cause inestimable damage.

Teachers may not have made what others with comparable education did, but they had three months off in the summer and generous health care and pension benefits in addition to compensation. No more. Now, those benefits come in lieu of salary — and with the rickety state of public employee pensions in many states, that future bet hardly looks so secure.

If we say that teaching isn’t important enough to justify a professional salary package, then we’re saying our kids and their futures are not important either.

This drive to diminish public education isn’t coming from Congress as a whole; it’s a core belief of the Republican party, who want their children in charter schools whose ethnic makeup they can control. Betsy DeVos, our remarkably ignorant Secretary of Education, is the poster girl for their position — part of Trump’s Make America White Again agenda.

Think about that when you vote.


2 thoughts on “Teachers Losing Ground

  1. Excellent teachers are leaving teaching mainly because they can’t teach! Meaning they test test test and can no longer discipine . My heart aches for the dedicated teachers struggling in a job they once enjoyed. Teaching is no longer a joy but a thankless job . This is not a Republican issue . It’s too many administrators and too much $ thrown out to “fix” the problem without any input from the those who do the teaching!

  2. for Betsy: Agree totally that testing has distorted teaching. But I think it’s also important to note the anti-public school agenda of the Department of Ed under Betsy deVos, and the long history of Republicans using private academies and charter schools to re-segregate classrooms. The most compelling film I’ve seen this year is Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, which isn’t about education at all, but traces a direct line from Klan activity in the 1950’s to Trump administration policies now. For those of us struggling to understand how we got here, Lee’s point is simple: We’ve always been here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.