Steer clear of cars with these bumper stickers.
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In an op-ed touting Teach for America earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal noted, “Unions keep saying the best people won’t go into teaching unless we pay them what doctors and lawyers and CEOs make.”
Really? Which union keeps saying this. Names and dates, please.
“Can you say “No?” And if you do, do you really mean it?” asks NYC Educator. “Because if you can’t, you might not want to go into teaching.” He might also have added “Will you be allowed to say it?”
A Fordham Foundation study finds that high-achieving students are the most likely to suffer from the effects of No Child Left Behind.
These are the students I refer to as “Not Your Problem” kids. As a teacher, when I raised concerns that my brighter student were bored and neglected, and expressed frustration at my inability to sufficiently differentiate instruction to challenge them, I was dismissed by an assistant principal who pointedly said “those kids are not your problem.” She meant I was to focus on getting my low-achieving students to proficiency; the high achievers were already there and could be left to their own devices.
I’m positively giddy to see this issue getting attention. It was my No. 1 concern as a classroom teacher.
The winner for the best, most reasonable take on the reform vs. “status quo” contretemps goes to Thomas Toch of Education Sector, who sees both right and wrong in the “Bigger, Bolder” camp as well as the Klein-Sharpton, “Education Equity” group:
Yes, we should find ways to reduce the effects of poverty on students. Doing so will allow them to achieve at higher levels. But no, we shouldn’t assume that schools can’t make a difference on their own. Yes, we need to hold schools and teachers accountable for their performance. Too many of them simply haven’t embraced high expectations on their own. But no, we shouldn’t pretend that poverty has no impact on students. No accountability system can work unless it is credible, and NCLB, as currently crafted, is not.
I struggled to find the same middle ground as Toch, but he said it far better than I did. And attention should be paid to his wise lead, noting “extremes in school-reform debates always seem to conspire against the middle, making change a lot tougher to achieve. ”
If Toch turns this into a compromise manifesto, I’d happily sign it.