Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

[Susan notes: We all need to push this naked emperor message.]

Published in New York Times

To the editor

After 35 years as a public school teacher, I can say that the only "experts" never consulted about the school system's problems are teachers. Yet opinions like Sy Fliegel's are given full voice ("Fix the Teachers' Contract," Op-Ed, April 17). He should know that all teachers in public schools face "challenging assignments," not only those in "hard-to-staff" schools or those who are math and science teachers.

Giving principals "flexibility" to run their schools sounds logical, but principals are not always in it for altruistic reasons. Too many of them can be petty, vindictive and incompetent. And where is any mention of how principals would be allowed to control unruly students?

Professionals who hold advanced degrees should not perform menial, caretaker tasks like patrolling lunchrooms, especially without any authority to control the chaos. Yet Mr. Fliegel thinks that this would serve as meaningful interaction.

The problem isn't the teachers or their contract. The problem is that the emperor is not wearing any clothes, and no one will listen to teachers who point this out.

Herman Kolender

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.