If It Weren’t for Your Kids…
One expects for this sort of thing to slip out in the heat of argument — in person or in comment sections — but it’s a splash of cold water to see retired social studies teacher Robert Salerno offer it as op-ed material:
I submit that they might learn that the problems of public education do not lie with the teachers but with the students themselves. Although many youngsters try to be good students, there are far too many who do not.
These boys and girls should be called “attendees,” ones who go to school but give little or no effort. Their numbers are larger than ever and I will leave it to our educational leaders to find out why this is happening in many areas of our state. These unmotivated students hurt their parents, classmates, school and society. According to the research, this begins to appear in middle school and becomes worse as these “attendees” move to the high school. This phenomena is not the fault of the classroom teacher.
Two thoughts: First, if the problem is the broader society (and I’m certainly not one to argue that the culture doesn’t need an overhaul), then our massive outlay for education, and especially staff and faculty costs, would seem to be misdirected. We shouldn’t be spending billions of dollars to pay people to do a job that can’t be done.
Second, since substandard student performance reflects poorly on teachers, one would think that their unions would be striving to implement methods of identifying such students in order to (1) help them and (2) decrease the extent to which they hinder the high performance and shining image of educators.