Inquirer editorial bashes Philadelphia public school teachers




by Christopher Paslay


Leave it to newspapers and politicians to oversimplify the problem with public education in America.  The root causes of failing schools are much more complex than bad teachers and a lack of charters, as the Inquirer states in their recent editorial.   


For starters, cell phones are destroying attention spans and producing a generation of children addicted to electronic gadgets.  Even the most cutting edge lesson plans have trouble competing with the soft core pornography and computer generated images found in movies, videos games and on the internet. 


The divorce rate in America is also an issue.  Many single parents are too overwhelmed with their own social ills to teach their children how to communicate properly and solve problems nonviolently.  Respect for authority in many public schools is at an all time low.


In addition, many education policy makers, such as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, have no experience teaching.  Often their ideas and strategies are off-base and impractical, and do not translate well in the classroom. 


Public education is a direct reflection of American society.  Blaming low student achievement primarily on bad teachers is like attributing heart disease to failing doctors.      


Education will only improve in this country when responsibility is equally distributed between teachers, parents, and society at large.   


6 thoughts on “Inquirer editorial bashes Philadelphia public school teachers

  1. Yet another “Expert” that spent 12 years in the classroom…problem is; they were all as a student…
    I have money…does that make me a financial expert? Do they realize that kids spend just slightly more then 9% of their time in school from birth to age 18? Divide that up amongst the 30-odd teachers a student will likely have,… And the “experts” want to pay teachers through merit pay? I have a better idea…. Since Parents are ultimately the first, last, and most constant teacher a student will have, lets have tax breaks based on achievement…You heard it here first – Mr. Olsen – Merit Based Tax Cuts ! And maybe we can also divert some of the next AIG bailout to providing parenting classes to ALL expectant parents… Basic nutrition, Care, and Nuturing from birth to young adulthood – oh no… this sounds like…dare I say..Universal Healthcare… Nonetheless – Keep up the Journalistic Fight Paslay! – Olsen

  2. Is the Inquirer going bankrupt due to the lousy writing in the paper? Is the paper failing as a result of the “Issues” selected by the editors? Is the Inquirer going belly up as a consequence of poor financial management? Well, who gets the blame here?? Since I was a Bulletin Boy (I was smart enough not to serve the Inquirer and be required to get up at 5:00am) that must qualify me to determine who is at fault. What the hell, let’s blame the lousy writers as the main cause of the city paper going down the toilet.
    The aforementioned questions are in the same arena as the editors using the teachers as the scapegoat.
    Doesn’t make much sense!
    By the way, the facts state that Philadelphia Students taught by these teachers — have improved (PSSA scores) for 5 years in a row.

  3. Rewards should be based on each student. If I, a 4th grade student, scored a 50 last year, my goal should be 10% more. But if you reward a teacher based on that formulation, who do you reward? The 3rd grade teacher or the 4th grade teacher? What about teachers who teach grades that are NOT tested? What is their merit pay based on? And are you including SPED students who are tested based on their grade level and not on their IEP level? What about ESOL students? Even though they are allowed to forgo the test for the first year, what about the 2nd year? How long did it take you to be basic in another language? There are too many problems with merit pay. As for parental responsibility within NCLB, I guess Teddy Kennedy didn’t think that far ahead when he wrote it!

  4. I read the post and my thoughts echoed that of this comment:

    “Too many schools are straddled with bad teachers and too many students with no other choice are stuck in failing schools.” Normally I would agree with this sentiment but couldn’t get past the straddled part. Isn’t it saddled not straddled? Incorrect word usage in an editorial on education – somewhere the Irony phone is ringing off the hook.

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