Thursday, December 21, 2006

Unleash Union Teachers

When teachers at Union High School "expressed frustration," to use the Grand Rapids Press headline, I thought they were on a good message.

Both in the Press and on other local media, these teachers were essentially saying the recent vandalism and other problems t the school were caused by a small minority of students and that it was ruining the education of the majority of students. My favorite quote was in a TV 8 interview where a teacher said, "we're here and we want to teach."

This followed the administration closing the school to clean up the vandals' mess. What was really messing though was the word that teachers were not to speak to the media. I say let them speak!

We have had nothing but bad news about the GR Public Schools for years. Now you have a group of teachers who are expressing their passion for teaching. Why stifle that? For one, basic transparency is a fundamental PR principle. But also, what a credible and positive commentary coming from these teachers. They're not complaining about contracts and benefits and other issues--they are saying they want to teach and that the majority of students want to learn. Good message.

Sure there was this "bad news" of vandalism. But like I tell my students, your reactions to the situations in life are more important than the situations themselves. The teachers' reaction was human and mostly positive. GR Public Schools should let the public see more of that.

1 comment:

justin said...

Well, we all know that it is in the interest of the higher ups to constantly show the GRPS in an unflattering light.

perhaps if they schools are shown poorly enough there will be enough support for DeVos's voucher plan.

Not to mention that the gatekeepers of the media have more interests in the suburbs and private upscale schools, so trashing GRPS is the right thing to do.