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Home » Our View » Navarrette vs. teachers

Navarrette vs. teachers

Ruben Navarrette goes after his teacher critics with both barrels:

I used to think that left-wing Latino activists, Minutemen vigilantes and politicians in both parties had the thinnest skins on the planet. But now that I’ve been scolded for criticizing the critics of the No Child Left Behind education law, I’d have to say that public schoolteachers win the prize.

In what became a common theme, one teacher asked: “How many education courses have you taken? Have you ever been involved in education? I cannot respect your writing because it is so simplistic, so uninformed. Why don’t you stick to writing about topics you understand?” Another educator wrote: “What are your qualifications to assume you have an opinion on this matter? Because if you have none, your piece is a waste of newspaper space.”

As a matter of fact, I was a substitute teacher for four years in my old school district, where I taught at every grade level from kindergarten through high school. I also taught at the college level. I took education courses both at Harvard and later at UCLA, where I enrolled in a doctoral program in education before dropping out to write a book about my own educational experience.

None of that will placate some teachers. All they care about is that you agree with them. And I don’t.

Teachers are so accustomed to being around like-minded people – in education courses, in their credentialing program, in the schoolhouse – that many have become hostile to hearing another view. They will talk your ear off about the shortcomings of students – particularly Hispanics and African-Americans – but they’re in no mood to confront their shortcomings as educators. Judging from their complaints, many of them hate their jobs, disrespect their students and resent their supervisors. And yet, they won’t leave.

Go read the whole thing.