This comment came from a reader who signs as “NY Teacher”:



They can’t prove it because they are all barking up the wrong tree.
In fact their entire premise is wrong. The weakest link in the learning/achievement chain is rarely the teacher.

I have one hundred students this year. I teach a subject that is new to all of them. This puts all of my 14 year old students on an equal footing as far as course content goes. After a year of instruction, a few of them have been incredibly successful. Some have done quite well. Most have done ok, just not setting the academic world on fire, And a few have been abysmal failures. If student achievement rests solely (or even mostly) on the teacher, how can this be explained?

The premise behind the teacher bashing movement is based on the surrealistic notion that virtually all students are willing participants in the learning process. If all my students are eager to learn, attentive, inquisitive, organized, conscientious, and hard working (and had the necessary parental support), I will gladly take the blame for student failure. In school districts where this is largely the case, it is amazing just how highly effective teachers seem to be.

We are looking for reasons why students don’t learn, and the only rock we have not looked under is the only rock worth exploring.