Teach Your Teachers Well [Jan 2016]
LAST month, at the urging of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, New York’s Board of Regents suspended the use of state tests to evaluate teachers. This is a wise first step, but it won’t improve our schools unless we go further and build a professionalized system of support that views teachers as learners and challenges them to improve their classroom practices.
The national push over the last decade to strengthen how we evaluate teachers was rooted in studies that suggested that consecutive years with an ineffective teacher did lasting damage to a child’s life chances. In response, many teachers’ evaluations have been tied to how their students perform on state tests. Read More
The Teacher Shortage [Aug 2015]
Educators cite low pay, lack of respect and support, and high-stakes tests as causes.
To the Editor: Re “Across Country, a Scramble Is On to Find Teachers” (front page, Aug. 10):
We applaud you for shining a light on the economic forces that helped create the national teacher shortage: low pay, higher student loan debt and recession-linked layoffs. But if you ask teachers why young people are shunning the profession, and why so many abandon it after just a few years, you’ll get an earful.
We have always asked teachers to be a combination of Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, Mom and Dad. Now, we judge them by a faulty, narrow measure — one standardized test in English and one in math — and then blame them for not being saviors. Read More