I generally like what syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrete has to say — except when he’s writing about school issues. It seems like he and David Brooks (another columnist I usually like) just “lose it” when they look at education issues.
Today, Navarrete wrote what can only be called a rant against most public schools and teachers. Here’s one quote that sticks-out:
“It’s been my experience that many teachers don’t really care whether parents go to the PTA or help their kids with homework. They just want a constant foil, someone to blame when students flounder and the schools underperform.”
I’m pretty confident that I’ve never met a teacher who felt that way. And, from the positive response my book, Building Parent Engagement In Schools, has received, there are quite a few who feel the exact opposite….
Thanks to This Week In Education for the tip.
I had a similar response, Larry. There may be some teachers like that, but Navarette paints with such a broad brush.
Thanks for sharing these destructive comments. I am hoping that Mr. Navarette is guilty of the same crime that we have all been at least once, the crime of failing to hit the delete button. While I would like to say I have never met a teacher that resorted to what Mr. Navarette describes, I cannot. However, I can say that they have been few and far between and to paint all teachers with this same brush is unfortunate.
I guess it would be the same if we decided many reporters narrow-minded and spiteful people who routinely put out misinformation on large groups of people.
I think that choosing of words like many, most, few, etc. is important, especially to someone like Mr. Navarette who reaches a large audience. If we as writers are not careful with these types of word choices we will risk losing readers who will write us off as extremists.
Mr. Navarette is fortunate to have someone like yourself who will vouch for the change in tone in this article. Because of this, I will consider his article to be the result of an emotional situation that he did not have time to process. I am sure that if he had reflected on all of the teachers he has had a personal encounter with he would take back some of his scathing comments.
As always, thanks for keeping the conversation respectful!