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Duncan’s Letter Failure

May 18, 2011

Would you trust this face?

Interesting entry in Education Week about Arne Duncan’s Letter to Teachers and its utter failure amongst those of us who do this for a living.  There are good links in the article (posted below).

In case you missed the fireworks last week, Diane Ravitch recaps the negative reaction to Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s open letter to teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week. A memorable way of putting it:

It [the letter] should have been about as controversial as the president’s annual Thanksgiving message, but in this case the letter backfired. Teachers reacted to the letter with outrage, as if it were addressed to the turkey community on Thanksgiving Day.

As Ravitch notes, the department insists that the negative feedback does not represent the views of the majority of teachers or at least teachers as a whole—which there may be some evidence for. But what’s your sense? Is there an alternative storyline here?

I have never felt comfortable whit Duncan, and I know from talking to many fellow teachers that they feel the same way.  It would be nice to have a real teacher with some experience in the post of US Sec. of Education for a change.

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