Teachers failing? Not in my book

Contrary to a headline that sometimes appears over an interview with me in The Atlantic, this is what the book says (more than once):

“I must also emphasize that my concerns [about how reading is taught] focus not on teachers—their integrity, commitment, motivation, abilities, effort, sincerity, or intelligence—but rather on what they are taught about child development in general and reading in particular and about the teacher’s role. Responsibility rests with the educators who teach the teachers, shaping their expectations about the profession and curating the ideas and methods to which they are exposed. The people who enter the field of education are being underserved by the authorities they have entrusted with their careers.”

Teachers aren’t failing students, the people who teach them are.

First coverage of the book, in The Atlantic, which has done a very good job covering education issues for many years. Headline on article is fine:


but when you paste the URL, sometimes it comes out like this, which is wrong:


Book doesn’t blame teachers at all. It’s the people who teach the teachers who are failing. Far from piling more criticism on teachers, I look at conditions that make a hard job even harder.

Media: can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em.