Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How to Get Good Teachers

The CEO of a company that teaches inner-city teachers to be more effective has a column in Forbes here touting, I think, her company.  To tell the truth, the article is so full of jargon (“a generative board helps an organization make sense of the landscape and assess the paths to the summit with the organization’s leadership, staff and stakeholders”) that I may be mis-reading her.  It is clear, however, from the column that her plan for improving teachers has little to do with improving teaching conditions.

I’m not sure how this high-priced training is going to overcome the large class sizes, inadequate resources, and low pay that teachers in poor districts experience. 

I’d rather see the money go towards more funding for school libraries, smaller classes, and higher teacher pay.  With higher pay and better teaching conditions you’ll get better teachers.

How many graduates from excellent colleges are willing to make a career out of dealing with over 150 students a day—many with severe social and educational needs—for a starting salary well under forty thousand a year?  It’s hard to pay back student loans on that amount, never mind saving to buy a house and taking care of their own families.

It’s a wonder more don’t leave at the five-year mark.

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