The public education system in New York is in turmoil. Is this because of leadership in Albany, the No Child Left Behind Act, parents who fail in their effort to raise children properly, or is it just the fault of kids who show little to no respect for authority, peers, or themselves? Or should we accept the most popular place of blame? The teacher is the problem.
The former world, where teachers were revered, looked up to by children and parents, and respected because of the crucial role they played, is all but a forgotten memory. Today, parents and school administrators often demonize teachers and are openly critical of the tenure system, which protects their positions seemingly forever.
Riverton School District has lots of issues. There is rampant bullying and peer intimidation. Some kids are even afraid to come to school. The disrespect and outrageous behavior runs not only unchecked, but leadership in Albany wants to see even less discipline and consequences for the young perpetrators.
Brendan Moss teaches eighth-grade math at Riverton. As a widower and devoted father of three, he does his best to assist young people, but the school superintendent wants to use the veteran math teacher as a test case to overturn the right to lifetime tenure. Don’t Blame the Messenger addresses school policies, State Department of Education leadership, bullying, and why a teacher’s tenure should be maintained and viewed as something good for kids and the process of learning.
The author works in the trenches, where truth and reality collide. Opinions on what is wrong with public education vary. Don’t Blame the Messenger is written by a teacher who knows how it really is.