In response to a post asking why politicians are scapegoating teachers, I received this inspiring comment from a teacher in Louisiana:

Teacher bashing is an integral part of the reform movement. It’s almost as if these republican governors were coached or told that this was the plan. Here in Louisiana it was as if the teacher bashing began almost as soon as Jindal was elected and made education reform his focus. Teachers are the only people in the school beurocracies that have a direct contact and influence on the students. Why disenfranchise this group? Why tear them down instead of build them up? I’m no businessman, but if your employees are constantly looking over their shoulder, in constant fear, it can not help productivity. Even if these reformers are correct that schools should be run as businesses, well, this is a terrible way to run a business.As an aside, I find it telling that he decided to ruin public education during his final term in office and just in time to position himself as a possible VP.It’s tough, I know, but we’ve got to keep our chins up, remain proud, and focus. Ignore the “adults” and focus on the kids. They still love and respect us. They are great judges of character. I’m not saying be silent or not to concern ourselves with these outside influences that effect us, but when I close the door to my classroom, I am in my element. It’s still where I belong. It’s my happy place. Teacher bashes throw out terms like lazy, entitled, union thuggery, but all that gets drowned out in my noisy classroom (yes, my class is noisy, learning is not silent). I still can’t wait for the school year to start. No, I’m not a wide eyed optimist, I’m not a green teacher (10th year of service), I love my job, bust my tail doing it and dare anyone that knows me or sees me teach or had me as a student tell me I’m lazy or entitled. Those that say those things just don’t know. They’ve obviously never tried to teach. Their comments prove their ignorance, not my incompetence.

Ms. Ravitch, thank you for fighting for the children. To those that are ignorant it may seem as though you are fighting for teachers, and yes that may have truth to it, but I sense that you really want what’s best for children. What is best for the teachers often goes hand in hand with what’s best for the student. I believe this is where unions and teacher advocates dropped the ball. Here in Louisiana, teacher groups complained about the loss of tenure and how it effects teachers, but no one said how it effects students. Pick nearly any issue and it was us against them with little to no mention on the effects it has on kids.