Why are teachers and students judged by the worst of each?

Each time I read an article or scan the comments sections of those articles, students and teachers are judged by the lowest common denominators. Ignored are the valedictorians, the Honors Society Members, the Debate champions, the Knowledge Bowl victors, and AP successes. Overlooked are the mentor teachers, Teachers of the Year, program innovators, and community revered.

I watch levies and bonds fail, budgets cut, and confidence dwindle, but rare is the article of praise or success. The conspiracy theorist in me feels like the news media is against us educators, but the realist in me knows we need to trumpet our own successes as well.

Am I alone in these observations?


4 thoughts on “Question

  1. Justen Eason

    You are not alone. I often feel like the education legislation that has passed in tue past decade is a direct response to a lack of trust of teachers. I also agree with you that the solution is to treat the profession with respect and shout the praises of our jobs.

  2. Mrs. Chili

    SO not alone. In fact, I’m finding that my own little school’s culture is focusing a lot on the failures; I’d like to see us do a little more trumpeting of the good stuff. There’s a LOT we do well, and it’d be nice to focus a little on that for a change.

  3. Jim Van Pelt

    I did a blog post earlier this year about incentive pay. I ended with this thought:

    “The focus in our discussions of education nationally is on the kids who fail or underperform. We’re always staring at the bottom half. While we’re doing that, we ignore that a significant number of kids excel in our schools (the same schools where some kids are floundering), and that there are many parents who care deeply about their children’s education and take an active role in encouraging their students to work hard, study and to be the best they can. I don’t think we should call a school bad because some kids do badly if there are also students who are doing well. If the opportunity and means to do well are in the school, then at least part of the responsibility for students doing poorly belongs to the students themselves and to their parents.”

  4. Jordan

    I like where your inner conspiracy theorist’s head is at, and I think you could make an argument for the idea that, encouraging students and teachers to assume and expect the worst from each other, while simultaneously broadcasting to the general populus an endless stream of failure narratives, is a pretty effective way to strip the majority of Americans of their faith in the public education system, and eventually, undermiine the value and importance of education as a whole. I mean, if you aren’t going to get a quality education anyway, what’s the point of tyring? Of even going to school in the first place?

    This mentality creates a climate in which massive, elite, power-hungry organizations (read, The United States government) can complete one of the most important tasks in the quest for totalitarian control: the systematic dumbing-down of the American population. MMMWWWAHAHAHAHA!!

    There could be other explanations, too…


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