Colorado teacher Jay Bennish is in a lot of hot water. People are shocked that his teaching tactics are being questioned. People are shocked that he would say the things he said. Count me among the latter.
I don't think he's actually doing what he's paid to do--teach 10th grade geography. We're not talking about adults who've paid for this abuse in order to get a higher education degree. We're talking about 15/16 year olds who are compelled to sit in that class and be subjected to this. The father of the boy recording this didn't believe what his son had said about this 'teacher'. The only chance at freedom from this was bringing home proof. And this boy did--in spades.
The right wingers are getting blamed for trying to control the curriculum. But it's obvious to me that lots of people are upset that someone has entered the educational sanctuary and dared to hold a teacher accountable for their words. They've never liked anyone daring to question their absolute right to rule every aspect of this process. They have fought accountability since the day Horace Mann created his accredited schools to ensure that teachers would follow his plan for our society.
I've listened to the 20 minutes (thanks to Michelle Malkin's link and she's got a transcript. http://michellemalkin.com/archives/004689.htm ) and this was not thoughtful back and forth between a passionate geography teacher and his inquiring and participating students. This was 'eerily similar' to just about any cult leader I've ever heard. Most damaging was his insistence that we 'don't know' and so a different point of view isn't valid (about into the recording). THAT small question, imo, is very akin to the snake in the garden saying 'Hath God said...'. It will knock the pins out from under these students for a long time. And let me make it absolutely clear I'm not equating the Bush administration with the voice of God. I'm pointing out that the teacher didn't say--"Let's dig further and discover the truth." He just left them doubting. No good teacher does that.
It's been routine for parents to be refused the opportunity to observe their child's classes. They're told it would be disrupting to the class. Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps what would be disrupted is 'teaching' careers instead.