In my experience, if you want to find a sympathetic ear in the media for public education, find someone who has a relative who teaches. Jon Stewart never fell for the teacher-bashing mania because his mother was a teacher. I have been interviewed on several occasions by talk show hosts who confessed that their mother or father was a teacher. They know how hard teachers work, and they share my outrage at the negative treatment of teachers and public schools today.
Yesterday someone sent me an article by Dick Yarbrough, a columnist in Georgia, thanking teachers for making it through another year. I immediately sensed that he had teachers in the family. Towards the end of his article, he mentions that four members of his family are teachers. That’s why he can’t stomach the absurd claims by legislators that teachers represent a class of overpaid, lazy people who are ripping off the public. Addressing teachers, he writes:
“Your rewards for your efforts are unpaid furlough days, larger class sizes, no pay increases (but increased expenses) and a second-guessing public that seems to feel you should be able to stop all of society’s ills at the classroom door. And then there are the politicians who promote “school choice.” That “choice” doesn’t seem to include making public schools better but it does include making all the other choices more attractive.”
What a pleasure to discover this very supportive open letter to the hard-working teachers of Georgia.