I watched a clash this week. It was a butting of the heads between those who have daily contact with kids and teachers...and those who do not (but think they know what's best for schools). As you can imagine, this wasn't a particularly pretty thing.
I don't know many teachers who aren't suspicious of higher ed and/or other "experts" in the field of education. Most of us have had the experience of how disconnected education courses are from the real work of teaching. While it would be unfair to expect that we would spring like Athena, fully formed from the heads of ed school, it would have been nice to have had a better connection between theory and practice.
I've more or less made my peace with this...or, to be honest, I've resigned myself to having a quiet standoff: I can't take them seriously because they can't walk their talk about best practices...and they don't listen to me because I'm "just" a teacher. So be it. I can't do anything about that situation, but I can go out to schools and work side-by-side with teachers and principals to do the best we can for kids.
But it's different when teachers new to this situation are in the room. It's also very hard to watch as classroom educators realize that schools are at the mercy of "experts." As one vented his frustration at this situation, I thanked him. Usually I'm the only one in the room speaking for teachers and reminding people that our conversations should end in action that is best for kids. It was good not to be alone in this voice, shouting across the great divide.