Teachers Change Their Tune

I did adult literacy tutoring for years, about 1985-1993. It brought me into close contact with the great American working class. Indeed most of my students had two or three jobs, despite their disability. (I think it must be much harder for dyslexic people to get jobs now, since you hafta be able to read to use a computer.) Also of course there were no stay-at-home parents: both had to work in order to attend to their children’s needs, like clothes, food, shelter.
And their kids’ education? Well, they paid taxes for that, if they owned a home, and sales tax even if they didn’t. (In Pa the sales tax statute is subtitled “A tax for education”)
But it was obvious the public schools weren’t doing a very good job: kids could graduate high school reading at Level 2
And the constant refrain of the teachers back then was: “We can’t do this alone! If kids don’t learn it’s the fault of the PARENTS!”

I was enraged that these public servants, whose salaries were being paid by those exhausted parents, dared to blame the parents for the teachers’ failure. After the teachers have the kids 6 hours a day, 8 months outta the year, the PARENTS are expected to do the teachers’ job at night, after they get home form work, get dinner, clean up after dinner, etc., etc.?
But I was alone. Nobody seemed to see it like I did.

But NOW, the teachers are saying they don’t want parents involved AT ALL. Their unions have invoked the power of the federal government to prevent parents from voicing any opinions, from even finding out the curriculum being imposed on their kids!

So, like:
up till now, teachers were ineffective to educate the kids without parents’ help, their help was essential, a sine qua non—
But now, parents are an obstacle to education, the prime obstacle, a threat to beneficial and effective pedagogy?

It’s just a delicious irony, is all.
Or maybe it’s due to the fact that people, at least in the educational establishment, no longer care whether kids learn to read and do basic math. In fact to insist upon and reward those proficiencies is mow racist, it’s an example of the evil “meritocracy” we must now abhor.


The field of education is corrupt at all levels these days, academia and K-12 alike.


Irony is lost on those completely blinded by ideology.

And yes, Mike, corruption is the watchword of all american (sic) institutions from the federal government on down; they have perverted the very foundations of our erstwhile nation. It all happened stunningly fast, and may soon collapse the entire crumbling edifice. Recall 9/11. After the planes hit, the structures stood for a while, seemingly to survive - until the first weakened floor supports gave way. Then the mass above promptly collapsed all below. The stability of our society, I believe is like that of the World Trade Center after the planes hit. That initial damage caused the inevitable, though slightly delayed, collapse. All the corrupt institutions have dissolved mutual trust, the reinforced mortar which once held us together.


Maybe, but that metaphor is very binary and inevitable. I hold out with about 25% optimism, just because we are Americans, a singular breed. But your point about the death of irony is perfect!