Rallying to Support Public School Teachers

Thomas K. Duane

March 09, 2012

On March 8, I participated in a rally organized by New York City Councilmember Stephen Levin to express our gratitude and support for public school teachers and to fight back against the “blame the teachers” message of the so-called education reform movement.  Earlier that morning, the New York Times ran a story entitled Teacher Survey Shows Morale Is at a Low Point,” citing a survey that found teacher morale to be at its lowest in more than twenty years.  While nobody would argue that New York City’s current education system is adequately serving all students—for example, barely half of black and Latino students graduate on time and far fewer are college-ready—the real way to reform our schools is to work together to support our teachers, foster their professional development and reduce class sizes.  I teach a once-a-week civics class at the Institute for Collaborative Education, a public high school in my district, and I can attest that it is an incredibly difficult job.  We should be commending those who have dedicated their lives to educating our children, not second-guessing them, and not publicly shaming them.