The esteemed historian begins her blogpost, "The Hero Teachers of Newtown," with a moving account of the courage of each teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School who died protecting children. Lovely and eloquent. But then there's this:
Oh, and one other thing, all these dedicated teachers belonged to a union. The senior teachers had tenure, despite the fact that “reformers” (led by ConnCAN, StudentsFirst, and hedge fund managers) did their best last spring to diminish their tenure and to tie their evaluations to test scores. Governor Malloy said, memorably, to his shame, that teachers get tenure just for showing up. No one at Sandy Hook was just “showing up.”
There's always "one other thing," for bloggers or anyone else. But to ruin this artful paean by suggesting that the teachers' heroism was augmented by union affiliation? Or by the fact that these professionals didn't work in a charter school?
Governor Dannell Malloy has led the effort in his state to expand charter schools and high-stakes testing. He appointed a state commissioner of education who co-founded a charter chain. He said, memorably, that he didn’t care how much test prep there was so long as scores go up. Sandy Hook is not that kind of school.
Let us hope Governor Malloy learned something these past few days about the role of public schools in their communities.
Newtown does not need a charter school. What it needs now is healing. Not competition, not division, but a community coming together to help one another. Together. Not competing.
Here's Rishawn Biddle:
Wow. Just wow. Declares Jacob Water in a recent tweet,
Ravitch’s piece counters: “any doubt that [Ravitch] is the [Rush
Limbaugh] of education policy.” Or as the inestimable Terry Stoops of
the John Locke Institute notes in his own comments about the piece: “ Ravitch does her best to exploit the Newtown shootings to advance her own political agenda.” [Ravitch, by the way, has attempted to defend her claptrap after being criticized publicly and rightfully by David Rosenberg, an executive at Teach For America.]
[Full disclosure: Jacob Waters is my son (and a TFA alum and a teacher in a charter school.)]