November 15, 2009
Susan Nielsen had a pretty decent article in today’s Oregonian (even a blind squirrel stumbles upon a nut!). Teachers, Nielsen finally realized, aren’t a bunch of lazy, incompetent, know-nothing idiots – they’re actually hard workers, pretty sharp, and — get this — really like kids! What did these teachers list as problems?
- Class sizes too big to manage.
- Lack of backup during the school day.
- Parents who can’t or won’t help.
Small class sizes. Adequate staffing (so teachers can, say, have a 5 minute bathroom break). And let’s get parents involved. Some parents are too busy to visit the classroom regularly – but the school-home partnership is absolutely essential in education.
Now, oh dear Oregonian reporters and editorial board writers, go back and review your fawning over Race to the Top and NCLB-like reform proposals. Do they address ANY of those three problems teachers are currently facing in the classroom?
Nope. And that’s why you have a shitty newspaper.
Kenneth Libby is an independent education researcher and a recent graduate of Lewis and Clark's Graduate School of Education and Counseling. He writes about national education issues, testing and philanthropy on Schools Matter and Global Ideologies in Education.