There are many pressures exerted upon teachers but the greatest of these comes from outside the school. Neither principals nor teachers have any appreciable control over who walks through the front doors of the school and herein is the nexus of the problem. Children who arrive to school without proper materials, not properly dressed and who are otherwise unready to do their very best should be denied entry. Only then can the issues of instruction and climate be properly addressed. But Dr. Ackerman believes forgivably all children are to be accorded the right to a public education regardless of moral and intellectual stature. She believes less forgivably that “victory in the classroom” can be broadly hinted at abstrusely through preposterous and demeaning policy initiatives of various sorts aimed at increased teacher accountability. She believes erroneously and altogether unforgivably that the reason underlying academic failure is because of teachers not “putting children first” blindly and punctiliously. Teachers are not simply “instructional leaders” destined to bow willy-nilly to Dr. Ackerman’s whims or to the prevailing winds of political correctness. They are exemplars of citizenship and guardians of knowledge – inviolate units of instruction in and of themselves both in content and in character however imperfect they may be.

As such, there are some behaviors even in Philadelphia which are everywhere and always wrong regardless of intention or circumstance. Rather than affecting appreciable positive change in the much more pressing area of climate, Dr. Ackerman has instead through her remarkable silence on the criminal behavior pervading the schools, agentially relegated building principals and their classroom teachers to the trammels of chaos and its vile and iniquitous progenies of tolerance and malevolence by superciliously scorning the primacy of the teacher while at the same time catering to the solicitudes of incompetent moral defectives. Teachers typically do their own work to the best of their ability with the raw materials the world provides as their arts, talents and fortune allow. So must Dr. Ackerman. There should be a harmonious cooperation between us all. I watched it work much and often many years ago in the fastness of Quaker education and I liked that but such is not what the toxicities of the liberal cabal hath wrought in America’s classrooms.

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