Education Reform and “Teacher Haters”

I’ve been writing publicly about politics for a few years now, so I’ve become accustomed to a pretty steady stream of hate mail. It appears to come with the territory. And nothing—nothing—lights up my inbox with insults like writing about education reform. It would be one thing if folks objected to the substance of what I write—but most of the time, the emails are pure ad hominem attacks. They impugn my motives or call me a “teacher hater” or any number of other similar epithets.

I don’t mind disagreement, but I’m frustrated with being seen as disingenuous, so I wrote a column for Talking Points Memo today explaining why I care so deeply about education reform:

I write about American public education for a living. As someone who cares profoundly about inequality and the state of social mobility in the United States, I’ve come to truly love my work. It’s time for me to confess: I am a teacher hater. I’m also bent on undermining public education in service of my corporate overlords. Or, at least, that’s what my inbox tells me every time I write something about charter schools, Teach For America, or education politics in general. And while unsolicited hostility is part and parcel of the politics writing game these days, this particular line of attack cuts particularly deep.

Click here to find out why it bothers me so much.

[Cross-posted at Ed Central]

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Conor Williams

Conor Williams is a Senior Researcher in the Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation. Find him on Twitter: @ConorPWilliams