Time was when you could graduate from a Texas college and get a job teaching in El Paso, all without being able to read. That’s the story John Corcoran is telling, and he should know. He was the illiterate teacher who sat in front of a high school classroom for 17 years.

According to a news story in San Diego, where Corcoran has worked for a number of years, he finally got help at 48 and now is an “education advocate” (as opposed to those people opposed to being educated…).

We can dismiss his case as a remnant of the lax standards of a previous age, but have things improved that much? Consider the indignant objections that rise from the various “education” unions. They tell us it is “demeaning” for a teacher to be tested, that these teachers have college degrees, that they have taught for years, and that they love the kids.

So how about that Mr. Corcoran?

He had a college degree. He taught for almost 20 years. And he was illiterate. How much damage did he do to the kids under his care? We’ll never know.

How many more illiterates infect the ranks of professional educators? Next time we hear an educator decry teacher accountability, we might get a glimpse at the answer…

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, and a dog. Check out his podcast, Reflections on Life and Liberty.

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