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Jill Biden: “I Don’t Know any Bad Teachers”

Dr. Jill Biden appears to oppose a major tenet held by education reform advocates, suggesting at a “Teacher of the Year” event that the problem with U.S. schools is not the teachers.

Jill Biden and Michelle“Like you I don’t know any bad teachers. Teachers are wonderful,” Biden said during a reception for the teacher of the year at the vice president’s mansion in Washington. She said she wants to “lift up the profession” so that others will be inspired to teach.

The teacher of the year, Jeff Charbonneau, is in Washington this week and was honored by President Obama at the White House Tuesday.

Education reformers, particularly conservatives, believe that in fact there are lots of bad teachers. The leading solutions they suggest focus on improving teacher performance and weeding out the bad ones – including establishing performance based pay and allowing parents to choose schools based on quality.

A central battlefield is against teachers’ unions, which many education reformers believe protect bad teachers.

Dr. Biden, who herself has been a teacher, certainly doesn’t believe there are no bad teachers. But her comment suggests a mindset – probably shared by others in the White House – that opposes making significant changes that will improve teacher quality.

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40 Responses to Jill Biden: “I Don’t Know any Bad Teachers”

  1. Through all the years of schooling I’ve had, I can count on one hand the number of good teachers I’ve had. Maybe almost all teachers had good intentions at some point in their lives, but good teachers (as far as actually properly teaching) are a rare commodity. What the hell is Jill Biden talking about? Just more Alinsky mind warping.

  2. This is satire, right?

    As the parent of a high school bio teacher, and having listened to my daughter’s stories about her students, the parents of her students, and stories she tells of other teachers, I can truly believe that there are no bad teachers.

    Incompetent, uninformed, ill prepared, uneducated in the field they are teaching, twisted, perverse, hateful but not bad. As someone, who through the course of his professional life, investigated teachers for sexual misconduct with students, I can attest that there is a serious problem within the American educational system that allows horrid teachers to resign, and then go to another school district to teach. It’s called “passing the trash” and happens all over the US.

    The solution is simple. Make it so teachers actually know the area in which they teach. A degree in education does not mean you know how to teach bio, or history, or English or what have you. An education degree should be second to a degree in the subject matter.

    • The same is true of administrators. My first husband was a school superintendent and before that a high school principal. To his credit he was an outstanding educatior. We knew many who were fired and then went on to highpaying jobs elsewhere.
      Also, there are way too many “supervisers and mid-level administrators and consultants.”

    • Teaching methods should be a ‘minor’ at most in college and a degree ‘major’ in thle subject matter area required for certification.

  3. She hasn’t met many union teachers has she? I forgot which state, but their Teacher of the Year was “last one hired, first one fired” according to their teachers’ union contract. Then there were those Wisconsin teachers that destroyed the state capitol building because the gov. wanted them to pay more into their retirement/healthcare so they can KEEP their jobs. They wanted none of that !

    I have many teacher friends who are excellent but frustrated with rooms full of kids who just don’t want to learn and the parents blame THEM !

    Dr. Jill is living in a bubble.

    • The interesting thing about that one statement there – is that if it is the PARENTS (or the kids) not the teachers that make the difference … why bother paying the teachers more?

      If it doesn’t matter, why do we invest in education at all?

      I’m not saying I disagree – but a teacher’s main job is to get the kids interested and motivated. If they cannot then their job is nothing more than jailer or daycare, and we should adjust our education dollars accordingly.

  4. I would have liked to have Dr. Jill spend a day with me during my last few years before retirement to observe the bad teachers in that one building…those who did not know their subject matter, arrived late and left early, kept the chairs and the microwave hot in the teacher’s lounge, skipped their assigned bus, cafeteria, and outside duties, stood in the hall and gossiped during class periods, and, worst of all, were the officers in the Teachers’ Union.

    • Reply to myself.
      I am elderly and started teaching in the late fifties, in my home state and also overseas with the Department of Defense in Japan, North Africa, and Northern Canada.
      I did not teach from the time of my first marriage until my divorce in the early nineties at which time my children were out of college.
      Of necessity to live, I returned to teaching.
      When I was a young teacher we belonged (required) to the Professional Organizations and we were expected to be professionals. Most were dedicated and teachers were respected in the community as people.
      There was day and night difference when I returned to the “profession.” I still loved my subject and my students as much as ever but do not know if I could have withstood the last five years without an outstanding principal. He was the best, fairest, and strongest in the district and had a fantastic sense of humour.

    • I would like to give Dr Jill a history test. Not on the convoluted
      leftie revisionist crap they use to indoctrinate the kids now but a
      real test she’s not much older than I am so when we had history
      it was proper history. Not this PC nonsense the kids get now.

  5. Reading the story and looking at the photograph, I’m reminded of the newest joke in my 12-year-old son’s repertoire:

    How do you keep a blonde busy?

    Put her in a round room and tell her to find the corner.

    • Speaking of which, it’s enlightening to know that the White House uses a green screen for some of its stated photos.

      Is it time to question some of Obama’s manly poses? Was his skeet shooting actually staged in the Oval Office? Did he pose for his Soldier Field rafters “toss” in the East Room? Can he now claim that he didn’t disregard family requests and photo bomb those caskets of returning servicemen?

  6. As with other professions, there are excellent, above average, average, below average and poor teachers. Somehow, likely because everyone has had a teacher, the teaching profession has been defined by the poor teachers within our ranks. There are two major problems within education: (1) Everyone from the federal government to school secretaries telling teachers how to manage their curriculum and classroom, and (2) the lack of discipline and respect present in todays’ children (a topic everyone is avoiding). My solution is local — let principals run their schools. Good principals will attract good teachers and the bad will be weeded out. Unions will become obsolete.

  7. Hello! Does she have her head in the sand? Live on a different planet?

    I worked in education. Our kids went to one of the better districts in NYS. There ARE bad teachers.

    One of my daughter’s teachers TIED kids to chairs and put them in the center of the room for misbehaving. One child was a special needs student. When parents reported her actions, the teacher was reprimanded and a letter put in her personnel file. Whip-de-do! She continued to teach, is now retired, and living on our tax payer funded pension.

    Yeah, there are bad teachers.

  8. So she’s admitting that she doesn’t keep up with the news? Two or three times a week there’s a story of a teacher who’s been convicted of having sex with students (Why the media won’t call it pedophilia, I don’t know).

  9. I have no doubt Jill Biden doesn’t know any bad teachers. She probably doesn’t mix much with those who don’t have a phd after their name and 99.9% of that ilk are leftists just like her.

    The Department of Education and teachers unions are the bane of the public school systems. Teresa makes some good points about getting the federal government out of our education system. Children should be learning the values and principles of their parents and the community, not some federal bureaucrat thousands of miles away. Reagan tried to abolish the Dept of Education but he got push back from not only the Democrat party but the statists in the Republican party. Time to put progressive ideology in the dustbin of history and do what is best for the education of the children.

    Teachers unions breed sloth and incompetence, and as one union lawyer once implied, it’s not about the children, it’s about the power. We all know power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Time to take the power away from the unions and put it back in the hands of parents, teachers, and local communities.

    Last of all, bring back discipline and corporal punishment in the schools. The fear of a swat on the behind from the principal sure helped keep me on the straight and narrow when I was feeling mischievous at school. If the parents of those who misbehave and disrupt the classroom refuse to discipline them or take responsibility for their actions, expel their little angels. Let the permissive parents find a way to educate their unruly offspring.

  10. Well, look at Mooch and Mrs. Biden. The 2 clowns look like they are auditioning for a bad, off Broadway production.

    Teachers’ Unions are big voting blocs for Dems.
    Jill wants their votes when crazy old Joe runs for POTUS.

  11. STOP IT! WITH THIS “Dr.” Jill Biden CRAP!!!

    As a “Dr.” what has Jill Biden ever done to improve the Human race/life…? She is a “Dr.”?

    “Dr.” makes Human life better…SO??? what has Jill Biden ever done?

    Keith; do you HAVE TO “report” Jill Biden as a “Dr.”? (is that sometype of order from the Obama WH…?)

      • Langley–it IS a directive. a couple years ago, the self-absorbed VP’s wife upbraided someone publicly for NOT referring to her as “Dr. Biden.” since then, many journalists–and some of of us out here– call her that, just for fun.

        of course, she doesn’t hold a candle to Barbara “Call me Senator, I worked really hard to get here” Boxer.

  12. A little bit of surfing around on ratemyteachers.com would quickly disabuse Dr. Biden of her assessment.

    Just to pick one name at semi-random, I surfed around the various St. Raphael schools. Look at some of the comments for Paul Stagliano in Medford, MA; Linda Orange in Bay Village, OH; Penny Simel in Naperville, IL; and that’s just three out of a completely unscientific name-check on one common school name.

    There are a LOT of bad teachers out there.