Times Doesn’t Get Education

August 16, 2013   ·   0 Comments

Source: NYTX

From: Lawrence Houghteling

To: Editor

I guess it really does no good to write letters complaining about how the New York Times just doesn’t “get it” as far as education is concerned, and systematically mis-reports the news (“Seeking Better Teachers, City Evaluates Local Colleges That Train Them,” 8/14).

All that happens is that you, dear lowly assistant editor, get to read this letter and announce to no one in particular, “Next!”

But look, seriously, how dumb is it that the Bloomberg administration is “evaluating” the graduates of various local colleges’ teacher prep programs on the basis of “whether their [graduates[ have been able to increase student test scores?” I mean, it makes no sense at all for most of the city’s schools to be spending 80% or more of their time teaching to the Regents tests. And it makes maybe even less sense to judge teachers on whether their students improve their scores on these brain-deadening tests. That ain’t good teaching.

And as for spending several paragraphs quoting David Steiner, dean of the Hunter College School of Education, giving advice on what “low performing” Columbia and NYU should be doing to improve, ask yourself this: Isn’t this the same David Steiner who as state education commissioner approved the appointment of the astoundingly unprepared Cathie Black to be Chancellor of the New York City school system? And when Ms. Black flamed out within a couple of preposterous months, didn’t Mr. Steiner submit his resignation as commissioner within hours?

This, I submit, is the guy on whom you should be bestowing your “Next!,” dear lowly assistant editor.

Hell, why don’t we just bring good old Don Rumsfeld back as Secretary of Defense, and call him a “reformer”?

Lawrence Houghteling


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