When did teacher bashing become the new national pastime?

With spring training under way, fantasy baseball owners across the country are hard at work readying their draft boards and preparing to select their championship rosters. As they do, I have a modest proposal to make that will simplify the whole process: Let’s stop getting weighed down by multiple data points, and start looking at just one number instead – the number of doubles a player hit the previous season.

Too simplistic a way to evaluate something as complex as a player’s overall value to your team?  Hogwash. For example, look at last year’s stats and you’ll see that the Kansas City Royals’ Jeff Francoeur smacked almost 50 two-baggers. By contrast, some guy named Albert Pujols hit half as many. By my calculations, then, Francoeur must be twice as good.

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3 Comments

  1. Sally Pilcher
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    It all began when President Obama named Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education. He said, “Too many people don’t understand how bad their own schools are. They always think it’s somebody else’s kid who’s not being educated. They don’t understand that it’s their own kid who’s being short-changed. That’s part of our challenge. How do you awaken the public to believe that your own kid isn’t getting what they need and you don’t know it. If they would wake up, they could be part of the change. We need to wake them up.” He, the President’s representative, said this in spite of Kappan polls that indicated most parents were happy with their local schools. Duncan’s message has been a relentless drumbeat from the White House, and it is enough to make me want to vote Republican. That’s sad coming from a 64 year old, life long Democrat. I loved Barack Obama and campaigned for him. I believe Obama wants to undermine our schools so that he can turn them over to private investors. Too bad for us. Too bad for him that he chose to buddy up with Bill Gates rather than the middle class teachers of America.

  2. Posted March 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Sally. I think it’s unquestionable that Duncan and Obama are partly to blame for the current climate. I don’t think Obama’s objective is to dismantle public education — I think he genuinely wants to do what’s right, and is unclear in how to do that. But bit by bit, a better way will emerge . . .

  3. Art
    Posted March 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    I find it rather funny that the writer wonders about it all boiling down to one number. That is the core experience of most all students. All there is at the end is “the grade” or the GPA, all of the work, the pain, and the tears, boiled down to a simple number. What are they complaining about? The sad truth is that most teacher will avoid any standards. Between tenure and the code of silence that pervades the teaching profession their is a large vocal part of the profession that will fight any teacher evaluation process that results in someone being fired. The teaching profession needs to wake up and realize the realities that other professions have had to accept for years. Customer service is important. In every profession there are folks that need to be ejected. Yearly evaluation and compensation based on merit. The profession doesn’t get to pick and choose what parts of the law they follow (see IDEA and sec. 504). There are good teachers out there but there is an unacceptably large number that thinks they are above other professions and entitled to a level of respect that they don’t earn. Ask any parent of a child with an IEP.

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