Saturday, October 16, 2010

Scapegoating teachers does not improve schools

Scapegoating teachers cannot improve the education of our children

On Sunday, October 10, Joel Klein, chancellor of the New York City public school system, and Michelle Rhee, formerly the Washington, D.C. chancellor, published a "manifesto" in theWashington Post claiming that the difficulty of removing incompetent teachers "has left our school districts impotent and, worse, has robbed millions of children of a real future."
In a new brief, How to Fix Our Schools: It's more complicated, and more work, than the Klein-Rhee 'manifesto' wants you to believe, EPI Research Associate Richard Rothstein critiques the Klein-Rhee approach, and calls for a different agenda, which includes improving teacher quality but also many other equally, if not more important school and out of school initiatives. Among these are improving school leadership, curriculum, and teacher collaboration, and taking other initiatives to improve children's ability to succeed by coming to school in better health and with more adequate experiences in early childhood and in out-of-school time. The brief also warns that school leaders cannot ignore the disastrous consequences of the current economic crisis for their ability to nurture and educate our youth.

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