Denigrating the Faculty Lounge

When did it become acceptable to publicly belittle teachers? I get that we need to have real conversations about the way in which we certify and compensate teachers for their work. But where would any of us be without their efforts? I’m sure Mitt Romney benefited from some great teachers and remembers some of them fondly. So why use this line in his Florida victory speech:

Like his colleagues in the faculty lounge who think they know better, President Obama demonizes and denigrates almost every sector of our economy.

The “faculty lounge” reference garnered mocking chuckles. It is troublesome to me for several reasons:

  1. I know this is part of the long-standing demonization of professors (particularly Pres. Obama) as part of an out-of-touch liberal elite. But teachers from elementary school forward spend some time in a faculty lounge. Why choose language that lumps them in with the nefarious enemy?
  2. Maybe Romney meant to only mock professors, which may very well be more liberal than the nation as a whole. But he’s got a joint JD and MBA from Harvard! You know, that same school where Barack Obama got his law degree. In what world is Romney less a product of the liberal educational elite?
  3. Aren’t teachers part of the economy, too? Romney managed to ‘demonize and denigrate’ a sector of the economy (education) in the very same sentence as he attacks Obama for doing so.

This is not just a cheap shot but a dangerous one. American needs teachers and education. If we vilify them for cheap political points we only make it more difficult to address our real need for education reform.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.