All posts tagged: Up the Down Staircase

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Marvelous Teachers Still Exist

(Photo: Nancy Gonzalez/TueNight) When you get off the school bus for the first time (which, for most of us in the United States, means arriving for kindergarten), you’re usually greeted by your teacher, who has come to gather up a new set of students for the year. That teacher is also usually female. There are so many reasons for that, ones far beyond the scope of this book column — and that’s why I’m glad Dana Goldstein has written The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession. Goldstein, a scholar with the Marshall Foundation, explains a lot about how teaching became a profession mainly for woman, why teachers unionized and the effect that our culture’s shaping of teachers has on today’s classrooms. The New York Times Book Review piece on The Teacher Wars found it “meticulously fair and disarmingly balanced,” meaning that Goldstein successfully battled her way through a thicket of material without getting caught on any partisan thorns — and the result is a book that successfully reminds the reader that although …