Some critics of Education Nation are finding the silver lining, saying things like, “A national dialogue is a good thing.”
Well, I’m looking hard for signs of a dialogue, but what I am finding instead are lines hardening between two camps. Scarily, it reminds me of the abortion/choice battle. Right now it’s in the naming stage. Those who were excluded from Education Nation are calling their opponents ‘anti-teacher’ and ‘anti public education,’ while the Education Nation crowd is labeling its antagonists ‘defenders of bad education’ and ‘protectors of inept teachers’. Naturally, both groups are working hard to wrap themselves in ‘pro-children’ garments.
It’s hard to see much good coming out of this, frankly. I wish everyone would emulate the three McGraw prizewinners. I’m sure all three of them had to fight battles to triumph over complacency, inertia and hostility, but I doubt that any of them ever declared themselves to be the forces of good, battling evil. That’s what I think may be happening out there in Education Nation.