Since the Los Angeles Times story on evaluating teachers by test scores came out earlier this month, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, instead of repudiating putting these kinds of inaccurate assessments online, has been supporting it. In his stump speech, which he’s given a few times and published today in The New York Daily News, after he says why it’s good he immediately launches into what I think is a “red herring” (defined as “a deliberate attempt to change a subject or divert an argument”), and I’m tired of hearing it from him.
This is what he says:
What is especially interesting about the L.A. Times series is the reaction of some of the teachers quoted in it – and one particular quote haunts me. According to the newspaper, one of L.A.’s most effective teachers is Nancy Polacheck, a fourth-grade teacher with 38 years of experience. She said something that was utterly heartbreaking.
“In the past, if I were recognized, I would become an outcast,” she told the Times. “They’d say, ‘She’s trying to show off.'”
That shame of success has pervaded America’s educational culture for far too long. We must stop highlighting only ballplayers and rock stars and start highlighting teachers who are our true heroes and role models.
What in the world is he talking about? He claims that there’s a “shame of success” that is rampant among our nation’s teachers. What evidence does he have for that claim, other than a one line anecdote?
I certainly haven’t detected any envy or jealousy at our school for awards or public recognition given teachers. It’s not a perfect place, so I’m assume there may be a little on occasion, but, jeez, we’re professionals. It’s difficult for me to believe that my school is that unusual.
What about at your school — is there “shame of success” there?