Wednesday, January 04, 2012


While one often reads about scandals involving incompetent doctors, I think the U.S., overall, probably has the best doctors in the world.  How do we do this and how might we adopt the lessons for teachers?  I wrote about this in my February Huffington Post article, Rebutting Seven Myths About Teach for America (

In an ideal world, the teachers in this country would go through a rigorous development program, as doctors do, that would look something like this:

1.               Ed schools would be highly competitive (the nations with the highest achieving students like Finland and Singapore only take teachers from the top 10 percent of college graduates);

2.               Ed schools would be rigorous and provide students with real preparation;

3.               Graduates would have to pass a tough exam demonstrating that they'd mastered the content;

4.               New teachers would enter a carefully controlled and monitored environment, with seasoned mentors by their side to make sure they learned (and did no harm);

5.               Effective teachers would be rewarded and given more responsibility; and

6.               Ineffective ones would be given additional support and, if that didn't work, counseled out.

In our dysfunctional, Alice-in-Wonderland education world, not one of these six things happens with any regularity.

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