December 16, 1992

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Vol. 12, Issue 15
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At the start of each school year, as the news of school districts experiencing a strike is circulated, the debate recurs as to whether teacher strikes should be prohibited. One of the most common assertions of parents and policymakers who argue against teacher strikes is that they "hurt kids.''
According to experts, there are 4 million pedophiles in the United States. Using a conservative estimate of four victims for each pedophile, that equals 16 million victims. If 16 million children in this country had leprosy, we would make fighting that curse a national priority, yet we give child sexual abuse only the most cursory attention.
Education Week's page-one Nov. 25, 1992 article, "Custodians' Abuses in New York Schools Provoke Reform Calls,'' was preceded by a CBS "60 Minutes'' report on Nov. 15, 1992. The opening segment of the program showed the front of a high school, and I turned to my husband and said, "that's mine, that's Erasmus.'' The next few scenes confirmed neglect of the kind that Jonathan Kozol describes in Savage Inequalities.
Children learn at an early age that they are being sorted, ranked, and classified according to "ability'' in the daily competition for school's rewards: teacher approval, smiley faces, privileges, honors, bumper stickers, top grades, membership in the top groups. Somewhere around 3rd or 4th grade many begin to accept the label of "loser,'' no matter how subtly it is applied, and turn off to learning.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CME Group Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations. Additional grants in support of Editorial Projects in Education’s data journalism and video capacity come from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. (Updated 1/1/2017)

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