Why is our government education system so dysfunctional? Perhaps because parents often don’t get the truth and administrators and teachers are constantly fighting each other.
That much can be discerned from the words of Karen Lewis, president of the radical Chicago Teachers Union.
Lewis appeared before the New York Collective of Radical Educators (an appropriate audience, to be sure) March 16 to give the keynote address at the group’s annual conference.
Lewis reminisced about her teaching days, when she would lie to parents when it came time to discuss their child’s performance. She then said – because of her lies – the student became her “hostage” who would do what she wanted.
Is this what parents want? Teachers lying to them about their children’s performance and behavior in school? Should the leader of one of the nation’s largest teachers unions be advocating such behavior?
Lewis also urged the attendees to make life difficult for their building principals.
“Do you have an insane principal?” she said, to laughs and clapping. “Anybody have an insane principal? Take ‘em out. What that means is remove them, by the way, Fox News … How do you do that? You organize to make their lives so miserable.”
Lewis is suggesting that educators should spend their time making the lives of their bosses miserable, apparently to the point where they choose to resign.
Is this the best use of teachers’ time and energy? Shouldn’t they be focused on helping kids learn and working with their principals to do what’s best for students?
Lewis’ rhetoric underscores the fact that teachers and school leaders are frequently at odds, to the detriment of the learning environment. It exposes the ugly truth about public schools - they’re often acrimonious places where the adults are fighting about adult issues and the children are left behind.