The Tuscaloosa News in Alabama has some curious ideas about what it takes to have professionalism in teaching — ideas that appear to be ripped from the Alabama Education Association manual. In an editorial yesterday, the News opined:
Our youth spend the majority of their day with teachers. It would be wise to treat those teachers with the respect they deserve.
If I’m reading this correctly, the News is claiming that professionalism is cultivated by paying teachers by the number of years logged, and not merit. Is that how doctors are respected as professionals? Accountants? Lawyers? Engineers?
In February we published an op-ed in The Orange County Register condemning the idea that true professionals benefit from being treated like interchangeable cogs in a machine. In far too many schools, the nail that sticks up (like Jaime Escalante, the teacher honored in Stand and Deliver) gets hammered down by the local teachers union.