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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

'Our nation's children are all our children'

"There's no such thing as someone else's child," said President Joe Biden in honoring the new Teacher of the Year, an Oklahoma math teacher. "Our nation's children are all our children. . . . As I often say, you teachers hold the kite strings to lift our national ambitions aloft."


That raised the hackles of those who do not want to "co-parent with the government." (Also, kite strings control kites; they don't lift them.)


Jill Biden, a community college English instructor, rubbed it in by saying, “There’s no divide between those who love our students and those who teach them because we all do both."


Later in the speech, Biden criticized Republican politicians and parents' rights advocates for trying to remove curricula and school library books that "promote radical gender and racial ideologies," writes Caroline Downey in National Review.


“There are too many politicians trying to score political points trying to ban books, even math books," said Biden, who suggested teachers are "worried about book burnings."

Democrat Terry McAuliffe apparently lost the race for governor of Virginia when he said, "I don't think parents should be telling schools what they should teach," Downey notes. Republican Glenn Youngkin responded, "I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education.” He's now the governor.


"Since Youngkin’s sweeping victory in the state, multiple Republicans have followed his model, making parental rights a major policy priority," writes Downey. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis "recently signed the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits instruction of sexual education and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade, deferring to parents to decide how and when to teach their children about such sensitive topics."


I think people disagree about how to teach about racism, but a large majority of parents do not want their kids taught they're not actually boys or girls, nor do they want graphic books showing oral sex in the school library.


In addition to the political downside of Biden's rhetoric, there's another issue. Teachers have lots of students. They do not "love" their students the way parents love their children, as Jill Biden suggests. That's not their job. We need to stop asking teachers to be therapists and social workers and parents to other people's children. If they teach the children well, that's plenty.


Teacher of the Year Rebeckah Peterson, the daughter of Iranian-Swedish medical missionaries, is a relentlessly positive person who's focusing on elevating teacher's inspiring stories, according to a profile by Linda Jacobson in The 74. A high school math teacher in Tulsa, Peterson is one of the administrators of the One Good Thing blog, where teachers post reflections from their day. There's a lot there about the joy of helping students understand math.

7 Comments


Guest
Jun 28, 2023

“Our nation's children are all our children!

He’s just saying that so he can claim the “right“ to sniff all of them.

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Guest
May 01, 2023

The guy who raised Hunter Biden wants to tell the rest of us how to raise our kids? Really?

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Malcolm Kirkpatrick
Malcolm Kirkpatrick
May 01, 2023

The arguments for parent control of education parallel the arguments for market allocation of resources. The system of title and contract law ("the market") unites local knowledge with the incentive to use resources efficiently.

Markets and federalism (subsidiarity, many local policy regimes) institutionalize humility on the part of State (i.e., government, generally). If a policy issue involves a matter of taste, markets and federalism make room for the expression of varied tastes, while the contest for control over a State-wide monopoly provider of a good or service must inevitably create unhappy losers (who may comprise the vast majority; imagine the outcome of a State-wide vote on the one size and style of shoes all 6, 7, 8. ... 15, 16…

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Steve Sherman
Steve Sherman
Apr 28, 2023

The Bidens like thousands and thousands of public and private school teachers would like you to look the other way like they do when that 'touchy' subject comes up

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Guest
Apr 27, 2023

It takes an undergrad degree, a 2-3 year graduate degree, and 2-3 years of post-grad training to become a LMFT. It takes much more time to become a psychologist. If teachers want to be therapists, they should do the training first.


Ann in L.A.

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obiwandreas
Apr 28, 2023
Replying to

This is one of the things that frustrates me most about teaching. Greg McKeown's "Essentialsim" should be required reading for all school officials and administrators. A person can do a small number of things effectively and well, or a large number of things poorly. The successful understand this.

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