Monday, September 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

A student is not a product

"Education is not a business," veteran teacher says

A student is not a product

A retired high school teacher with 43 years of experience sent me a thoughtful and thought-provoking email about New Jersey's appointment of Paymon Rouhanifard as Camden schools superintendent. My selected excerpts follow.

"My concerns are not with [Rouhanifard] or his intentions," writes Bill Lange, 65, of Haddon Heights, "but rather with the prevailing view of the powers that be, that education is a business...

"This appointment is symptomatic of the view that education is a business and the result is a product...

"Education...is a process that must involve all. There is no quick fix...

"The people of Camden have for too long been at the mercy of ineffective politicians, both local and state. It is time that they simply stand up and refuse to take this anymore...

"I hope that I`m wrong in all of my assessments. But I fear that as education becomes more of a political football used to insure elections rather than the future of the children...things will only get worse...

"There is much that can be done to improve the current model," concludes Lange, who taught at Lenape Regional, Bishop Eustace, and other South Jersey high schools. "But let's rely on...effective educators who truly understand the needs of the community and [the] child."

 

--Kevin Riordan

PHOTO: LEWIS W. HINE

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