what are we supposed to say to this guy?

I post this with some hesitation, because guys like this scare me.  Also… because I am certain that I could not win this argument with this guy.  Still, I think withholding information is not ethical, so I will share it.  Please read it – and tell me… How would you respond to this writer?

This is what I said:

I think you do make an excellent point that the education system today (in general) needs major overhauling. We teach the same way we’ve been teaching for over a hundred years. I totally agree that the system encourages cheating behavior.

Having said that, writing is writing – and there’s no job and there’s no lifestyle that does not require writing. Just look at yourself. You could not do “this” without your wonderful writing skills. Like parents are responsible for making decisions for their children who do not yet know better, educators (as experts of learning and pedagogy, not of content, like economists for instance) have to sometimes make students do things – like taking a writing class.

Of course, as a writing teacher, I am somewhat biased. When I see that the majority of my students who come into freshman writing class leave as better writers… that’s job well done on my part and also on the part of the students. So, this so-called “shadow scholar” is a just a spit in my face and the faces of all of those students who write, who take writing classes (even if they’re forced to take it), and become improved writers (certainly not perfect but certainly better).

The euphemism is funny – “shadow scholar” and the fact that you have a euphemism (because I think most people will agree with me that it’s not a TRUE linguistic representation of what that work/job entails) suggests something… “less than honest”. But then again for an economist, perhaps honesty is not so important. Of course, when you view through the lens through which you see everything (based on your school of thought) maybe there is no room for ethics. But I do hope that you realize that your lens is one lens – and that there are many out there. In fact you yourself have many lenses, I’m sure.

As someone who is in the trenches and shares your views about the overall need for radical change in our educational system, I am very offended by what seems to be an attack on people like me. Even if you don’t mean it that way… that’s how it comes across. I almost want to say “You don’t know jack.” But I won’t.

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