When Ann Coulter’s book, Godless, appeared, the media obsessed about her criticism of the four widows of 9/11 victims from New Jersey. Coulter’s book, in fact, has much more to relate about a number of other issues, including education.

As Accuracy in Academia’s Julia A. Seymour notes, Coulter (in chapter 6: “The Liberal Priesthood: Spare the Rod, Spoil the Teacher”) Coulter lambastes teacher indoctrination, pay, qualifications, and crime. For example, she asserts that:

·        Teachers are “inculcating students in the precepts of the Socialist Party of America-as understood by retarded people” – citing Jay Bennish, the high school teacher caught on tape comparing Bush to Hitler and saying the U.S. is the single most violent nation on planet Earth.”

·        Numerous schools ban references to the Christian, while requiring students to participate in activities of other faiths.

·        Government-monopoly schools fail and fail, yet legislators mandate more and more of government schooling. Coulter asks,”Is student achievement inversely proportional to time spent in U.S. public schools, or is there a correlation between poor student achievement and time spent in U.S. public schools?” And, “Remember how factories in the old Soviet Union stayed open year after year even though half the products they turned out were defective? U.S. public schools have become like that….”

·        Re the constant refrain that teachers are underpaid: “Weekly pay for teachers in 2001 was about the same…as for accountants, biological…scientists, registered nurses, and editors…, while teachers earned significantly more than social workers and artists.” Teachers also get considerable time off from work – thus “it appears that the only people who get better compensation than teachers for nine months’ work are professional baseball players.” In addition, teachers receive “more generous pensions than other professional workers” and have “absolute job security.”

·        There are many criminals in the ranks of teachers. “In addition to grand theft, disorderly conduct, weapons charges, and attempted murder, there were also 180 claims of sexual abuse by New York City public school teachers in 2005-all before May,” writes Coulter. She cites data estimating “that between 1991-2000, roughly 290,000 students were subjected to physical sexual abuse by teachers or other school personnel.”

·        Concerning those who enter the teaching profession: Those who major in education score lower on the SAT and ACT than other students, and the lower the quality of the undergraduate college a student attends, the more likely he or she will enter the teaching profession.

Coulter’s prescription? “Less unionization and more competition.” Moreover, she exhorts conservative women to enter teaching in order to truly have an effect on society.

Godless addresses serious issues and proposes serious solutions. It does not deserve to be dismissed as mere vitriol.