For students to learn, they need well-trained teachers. Unfortunately, far too many teacher-preparation programs in this country are little more than diploma mills. As states and the federal government consider ways to fix this problem, they should look to Louisiana’s accountability-based reform efforts.
The announcement this week that the New York City school system must cut $185 million from its current budget has renewed a push by the Department of Education to convince the teachers’ union of the need to end the contentious policy of keeping teachers whose positions have been eliminated on the payroll.
New York City's school system is among the nation's leaders in trying to root out ineffective teachers. Under the aggressive leadership of Chancellor Joel Klein, here's what those efforts have reaped: In the 2006-07 school year, exactly eight teachers were fired for incompetence.
The United States has a long and dishonorable history of dumping the least-qualified teachers into schools that serve poor and minority students. This shameful practice has persisted nationally, despite the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, which required the states to place “highly qualified” teachers in every classroom.