“I put my heart and soul into teaching,” said Lindsay Vlachakis, 25, a high school math teacher in Madison. “When people attack teachers, they’re attacking me.”
This is a non sequitur–the sign of desperate idealism. When a huge percentage of public school graduates are unqualified for college, the natural conclusion is that there is a problem with the public school system. Since the claim for state hegemony over childhood education is that it is thereby controllable and answerable to higher standards, there is no reason not to criticize public school teachers. Ultimately, the idealism of public education is simply an unfounded, irrational belief. It doesn’t produce the claimed results for the general society, much less the least capable members of society. Its primary defenses amount to sympathy for suffering teachers, the ethical need for all children to suffer together, the political need for all children to be indoctrinated in the same system of values, and the mystical need for all children to be “socialized” in an institution closely resembling a prison.