Published Online: May 5, 2015
Published in Print: May 6, 2015, as Reader Observes Ironies In Nancie Atwell's Award


Reader Observes Ironies in Nancie Atwell's Award

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

To the Editor:

In her writing, Nancie Atwell begins from the belief that a classroom teacher is a professional, not a technician or an assembly-line worker. So her comments about the current state of teaching are no doubt sincere and not at all surprising ("Honored Educator Decries Current Climate for Teaching," April 1, 2015).

She's a truth teller.

It is certainly ironic to see her standing with her award, the Global Teacher Prize, next to former President Bill Clinton, who helped lead us down the slippery slope Ms. Atwell's critique decries.

Of course, Mr. Clinton's contribution to the reactionary standards-and-high-stakes-testing-and-punishment paradigm is minor compared to all the lies about the so-called "Texas Miracle" promulgated by former President George W. Bush, and accepted by Rep. George Miller and Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in authoring the No Child Left Behind Act in 2001. What a strange moment in educational history: A global award for teaching goes to a teacher who, I would argue, opposes pretty much everything Mr. Clinton, former Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley, Mr. Bush, President Barak Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and Bill Gates have supported and enacted during the past 25 years—and Mr. Clinton and Mr. Gates are part of the award's judging.

Did any of the judges actually read any of what Ms. Atwell has written? Perhaps the same group of folks will give the Ellwood Cubberley Award to Mr. Duncan when he's done enforcing all the policies and programs that Ms. Atwell disdains.

David Marshak
Bellingham, Wash.

Vol. 34, Issue 29, Page 28

Related Stories
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories