Malcolm Gladwell’s Good Teacher/Bad Teacher Delusion

Regarding Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker article “Most Likely to Succeed”

Sure Malcolm: Don’t blame students; don’t blame parents; don’t blame underfunded schools; don’t blame distending class sizes, don’t blame school funding being tied to local property taxes; don’t blame artificial testing requirements devouring classroom time; don’t blame required special education skewing dollar-per-student vs. results numbers wildly below magnet and parochial schools; don’t blame the flight of your upper-middle class into homogenous neighborhoods.

Blame teachers. Those lazy, overfed teachers who work 80 hours a week 10 months a year so that they can also pull summer jobs for at least the first decade of their careers just to make ends meet, in order to instruct your mediocre “gifted” student with no help from you and your too busy, Blackberry-driven lifestyle.

Here’s a tip: There are bad teachers. They don’t last very long, and they’re not the problem with American education. Teaching is a hard life, and it takes a special caliber of person to do it.

Don’t feel bad. Build a light froth of cherry-picked data. You’re good at that. Use it to absolve yourself of guilt.

Attaboy, Malcolm.

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