diet coke for breakfast


Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Posted by Tanstaafl
Leave No Teacher Behind (washingtonpost.com)

Interesting proposal, but a better way to get market forces involved in improving teachers is to give principals and superintendents the ability to hire and fire without interference from the teachers' unions, and set up merit-based pay increases. Teachers complain that using student test scores to gauge the teachers' merit will result in "teaching to the test" and that when principals observe in the class room, teacher and student behavior is different. Well that may be true, but managers at corporations all over the country make decisions about the performance of their employees under equally difficult situations. Better teachers = better schools, so let's get rid of the bad ones.

Brian--I've never understood that. Every other union grants the employer the ability to fire any employee for gross incompetence, but public school teachers all over this country are completely immune. You and I shared an English teacher three years apart, James (Ms. Costello), and I think you'd agree that she was entirely worthless by the time we had her. That was also the general feeling of Ellen (our swim coach) who had her 20 years earlier. Yet this woman was entirely protected and didn't leave the school until she felt like leaving. If she'd worked in any other industry in the world, she would have been fired long ago.


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