Substitute Teaching in Alexandria, Virginia

(Introduction to Gadfly's new blog, Substitute Teaching in Alexandria, Virginia--http://alexandriasub.blogspot.com )

Having retired from academe and in a need of a break from my solo home improvement business, I tried my hand at substitute teaching, with the intention of gathering material for a book, the first draft of which I introduce in this blog. For two years (2001-2003) I subbed in all thirteen Alexandria City Public Schools, my local school district, covering classes from Kindergarten to AP calculus, from social studies to ESL, from physical education to life-skill for the mentally impaired, and everything in between. Friends had forewarned me that subbing in our public schools had far more negatives than positives, and they were right. Save for a few rewarding experiences, much of what I witnessed from day one was downright appalling. And from books, newspaper articles and e-mail correspondence with knowledgeable critics, I subsequently learned that the conditions in Alexandria were par for the course in most public schools throughout America. If the American taxpayer only knew the full inside story of our public education establishment, they would demand their money back. Hopefully, this blog will open some eyes.

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