A Great Teacher for Every Student

Strong NYTimes editorial on the turnaround efforts in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.  Key passage:

“Under the Strategic Staffing Initiative, principals who have improved student performance at their current school are given bonuses and allowed to recruit new leadership teams in exchange for moving to chronically low-performing schools … Once at the new schools, the principals are permitted to remove as many as five teachers if they consider them to be hostile to reform.”

Any turnaround effort that is not laser-focused on making sure that the most effective educators are working in the neediest schools will not succeed.  I also like that the passage above grapples with the staffing issue from the standpoint of both effectiveness and fit.  Not every teacher and administrator is equipped to teach in a turnaround context; turnaround is a specialty, and folks who can be effective in stable contexts might not be suited to the kind of work necessary for turnaround.

I’m also glad that the following point was explicit:

“The program also shows that — with creativity and the right incentives — districts can build the capacity to reclaim failing schools.”

The status quo in most districts is ill-equipped to address failing schools.  That doesn’t mean that districts cannot change.

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One Response to A Great Teacher for Every Student

  1. Kathleen Smith says:

    Finally, leadership outside of the school is changing the playing field inside of the school to make a difference. Reform isn’t going to happen without these kind of strategies.

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