Letters to the Boston editor, October 8, 2010
I felt tremendous disappointment while reading your recent editorial. The once-progressive Phoenix has now stooped as low as the likes of Glenn Beck to share in the gang-banging of the teachers’ union. Rather than discuss what is truly needed to improve Boston’s underperforming schools (i.e., parental involvement, socio-economic improvement, appropriate funding), you suggest teaching should be made a less-desirable occupation, as if this will somehow improve student interest and achievement. You resort to the package of Republican talking points: younger (cheaper) teachers should be retained, experienced (more expensive) teachers should be fired, good (expensive) working conditions make teachers bad and self-interested, and longer school days and years without appropriate compensation will be a victory for education. If these erroneous suppositions are accepted, the exodus of quality teachers from Boston’s public schools to other employment opportunities will be partially by your design.
Your underlying message is simple: union busting. How can we get more for less, and reduce the process of education in poor areas to quantitative test scores? I never expected to see the Phoenix so cozy with the bean counters and the right-wing parsimony that threatens the very fabric of America’s public-school system.
Matthew J. Bach