A little late, Mr. Duncan

In today’s Edweek, Education Secretary Arne Duncan is quoted as saying,

“Do you need to publish every single teacher’s rating in the paper? I don’t think you do,” he said. “There’s not much of an upside there, and there’s a tremendous downside for teachers. We’re at a time where morale is at a record low. … We need to be sort of strengthening teachers, and elevating and supporting them.”

Your vague “sort of” does not go unnoticed. There’s a reason why you are conveniently late with this and aggravatingly mute on what you mean by “sort of” strengthening, elevating, and supporting teachers. I presume that perhaps after supporting the onslaught for so long it’s hard to change the party line on a dime? Have you been hearing a louder buzz of disapproval and disgust this time? I hope so. I hope the sound is deafening.

You can’t have a policy of undermining teachers as a method for promoting your new education agenda and then realize too late that you can’t pull it off without them. I think there’s this idea that as long as teachers are desperate enough, or their ranks overwhelmed by newbies or alternatively-certified-non-traditional types (like me), they will remain complacent and unable to oppose what is done to their professions.

I am beginning to believe you are wrong.


2 thoughts on “A little late, Mr. Duncan

  1. It is an election year, and education stands to play something of a role in the dialogue leading up to voting. Of course, the AFT has already endorsed Obama…It is interesting to me that Obama said in his state of the union that teachers should not have to teach to the test yet all of his dollars were awarded to states because they indirectly and directly opted to increase the weight of tests. There’s a bit of a disconnect between the Duncan and Obama messages.

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