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A Man Needs A Fish Like A Woman Needs a Bicycle
Monday, January 02, 2006
WE NEED HIGHER STANDARDS FOR TEACHERS!!! OR, HOW TO MANUFACTURE A CRISIS
Ross Weiner in today's Washington Post argues that:

"There is no question that educators are trying harder to reach students, especially those students who have struggled, but there is a crippling lack of intellectual capital in many of our lowest-performing schools. Instead of confronting this problem, we reward teachers with higher status and higher pay the farther away they get from the students who need the most help. This is true across districts, within districts and even within individual schools, where the most experienced and effective teachers are assigned to the "best" kids."

This is a sensible idea, akin to hazard pay for firefighters and other folks who work in dangerous or difficult occupations. It is a nice Trojan Horse of a way to broach the topic of higher pay all together. As for status, surveys generally show that teachers are admired for the work that they do. It also doesn't stop teachers from proclaiming their love for a profession that treats them not too well. Still, the laws of supply and demand do operate. After all, what is one to make of the desire of politicians to make it harder to actually be a school teacher. Raise qualifications (which are expensive to get) and then raise the amount of work that they are expected to do. This is a recipe for lower teacher numbers and a greater crisis than we already have.
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