Time magazine’s cover for its new story on teacher tenure scapegoats teachers for the rampant inequalities in our nation’s public schools. Playing into the agenda of corporate-backed education “reformers,” Time is using a sensational cover to sell copies and ignoring important facts about our public schools and the dedicated teachers who staff them.
They join the other elements in the nation’s media outlets who continue to ignore the real concerns about school funding, the shrunken tax-base to fund public education, the economic and social realities that burden our students and their families, and other, more critical, “school reform” issues. Instead, they’ve chosen to embrace the oversimplified and incredibly insulting “ROTTEN APPLES” metaphor, misdirecting the conversation away from a real look at the issues that face this country’s public education system.
In an age of low teacher morale, high turnover and rampant high-stakes testing across the country, job protections are critical for retaining high quality teachers and ensuring they can advocate on behalf of their students for things like small class sizes, basic classroom materials and access to school guidance counselors. As it is, we have serious issues with retaining our JUHSD Teachers and Counselors, largely for economic reasons as well as a building dissatisfaction with the conditions that face public education in general and our schools specifically. The added weight of attacks like Time‘s—which inappropriately spread public misconceptions to help chip away at our due process rights and their long-standing protection of our student/family/community advocacy efforts, our professional creativity, and our academic freedom—only force many of us to rethink our career choices.
Faulting teachers and the due process they deserve is not only poor journalism, it threatens our nation’s schools by sidelining the inequalities in funding and opportunity that we must strive to fix, inequalities that are all too apparent in the funding of JUHSD’s schools. These attacks just drive a wedge between students, parents and teachers, at a time when unity between these stakeholders is so critical. Only together can these groups achieve great schools for all children, and this article isn’t helping our efforts.
Please consider telling Time to apologize for this attack on America’s teachers by clicking here. JUHSD’s teachers, counselors and staff need broad community help with this. We appreciate your ongoing support and hope that you can spread the word.