Pat Powers gets it wrong—I could fill pages with posts starting with those words. But what fun would that be?
Still, in his Joe Graves flog-prep, Powers throws up another fallacy in his discussion of whether the Mitchell school superintendent ought to run for the Legislature:
Teachers teach, but administrators are the ones who have to try to get the job done with the limited resources they’re given. Why not give someone on the front line a seat at the table? [Pat Powers, "Mitchell Daily Republic Discourages Public Service," Dakota War College, 2013.09.17]
Front line? If that analogy applies, and we're talking about the war against ignorance, superintendents are the generals, and teachers are the soldiers. Teachers are on the front line in education. Teachers get the job done.
If we apply the analogy to the war against education waged by our legislators, our teachers are on the front lines shoulder to shoulder with administrators. Teachers offer the front-line expertise on the direct impacts of policy on their classroom practice; administrators offer front-line expertise on the impacts of policy on their budgeting and management activities. (I commit my own fallacy here, assuming that the Legislature is willing to listen to expertise from our education professionals).
The idea that Superintendent Joe Graves sits in an office on the front line of education makes full sense only in a policy sense, not in the sense of directly and daily delivering value to children. And while the Mitchell Daily Republic doesn't go there, when we see how bad he is on policy, the Mitchell paper and the rest of us should discourage Graves from joining the front line at the Legislature.