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Ed Boland, whose interview in the New York Times set off a flurry of negative responses, commented on the blog:
“With all due respect, Diane Ravitch, I did everything you suggested: I got my masters in education in advance of teaching, I did even more student teaching than was required, I sought out good mentors. This was not a silly whim. I may not have had the chops for the job, but if so I have plenty of company: 68% of new teachers leave NYC high poverty schools within 5 years. The school where I taught has had 100% teacher turn over, many of them were dedicated veteran educators. I’m trying to call attention to the fact that we are expecting teachers in high poverty schools to do too much. We must end the myth of the hero teacher.”
I’m with Ed on that last point. The idea that teachers are to blame for the ills of society is simply ludicrous. The idea that a “great” teacher can singlehandedly overcome all social ills is a myth. Why not have high expectations for both teachers and for society? We have for too long allowed politicians, pundits, and billionaires too divert our attention from society’s responsibilities and shifted the blame to teachers.