The American Prospect reports how "Everyone has had a 'bad' teacher. Incompetent, unfeeling, or maybe just aggressively uninspiring, the occasional bad teacher is as much a fixture in America's schools as lousy cafeteria food and detention hall. Critics regard the presence of bad teachers as confirmation of their worst fears about public education - namely, that some combination of union contracts, tenure, civil service protections, litigation-wary administrators, and general institutional inertia are getting in the way of child's learning. (Some examples) have now become part of a considerable arsenal of anecdotal evidence that suggests even flagrant incompetents are hard to fire. (But other examples) suggest a more complex story... Is it a cautionary tale about how the 'age of accountability' in education reform has made all teachers -- even inspired ones -- vulnerable and gun-shy, serving as scapegoats for our collective discontent about the state of public education?"
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