Tim Slekar is a tireless advocate for public education and teachers.
He was upset that Michelle Rhee got a chance to sell her book on the Jon Stewart show, because Jon is one of the best friends of public schools and teachers on national television.
Tim knew that Rhee would use the opportunity to say how much she loves teachers, and that she loves them so much, that she wants to fire more of them.
He was even more upset that she went unchallenged when she repeated her usual claim that teachers are the most important factor in schools that affect test scores.
This is progress, in that she used to say that teachers were the most important factor inside or outside the school.
Tim quite rightly points out that the research says that non-school factors like home and family income have a far greater impact on student test scores than teachers.
This is not to take away from teachers, but to acknowledge that there are problems that even the best teachers can’t overcome.
As Anthony Cody recently noted in one of his columns, many of the students in his Oakland classes suffered PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) because they had witnessed a murder or suffered other horrible experiences. Very few teachers can induce a student to get a high test score when she saw someone murder her brother, sister, or parent the day before.
Read Tim here: