A Sunday editorial by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel laments "that teachers have been singled out for much venom these days." A better idea according to the MJS: "Lets debate policy. There is plenty of it to debate. Let's not dump on teachers."
So this intro was followed by a robust policy discussion, right? Uh, no. Instead, we heard about the commanding presence of Ricardo Pimentel's teacher who scared him into college, and about the feared and stern Mrs. Peer recalled by board member Mabel Wong and so on and so forth.
It is true that singling out teachers for venom is one way to avoid a substantive policy discussion, but then again, so is anecdotal praise. How about that policy debate then MJS?
There is plenty to debate as the MJS noted. Do our current policies allow us to efficiently identify and remove subpar teachers while rewarding the best ones? Does tenure create the incentive to improve as a teacher? Does a backloaded compensation arrangement discourage people from becoming teachers? Can we afford the amount we are paying for public education? Would competition in education reduce the cost and improve performance?
Oh, I almsot forgot. Mrs. Peer was actually a softy and "her sternness gave way to smiles."