Tag Archives: good teachers

The Real World Would Recognize (and Deal with) Both Good and Bad Teaching

Every child is always a winner … Children just need better self-esteem … We only need to use positive incentives to help children learn more … Let’s reward the good but pretend like the bad doesn’t exist … I’m only 5 years old, and I get that this is marshmallow world nonsense. In fact, it’s the kind of silliness that makes many people question (sometimes fairly, sometimes not) the value of much of what goes on in public education. It gets even worse when the principle is applied not only to students, but also to teachers. At least if the union has its way. Witness the evidence from Chicago, a city with many failing schools: principal evaluations found only 3 out of every 1,000 teachers had unsatisfactory performance. While unions thrive on fears of bogeyman administrators who take out their vindictiveness on good teachers they don’t like, this evidence at least indicates the problem tips in the other direction. In any case, wouldn’t a more objective data system be better?


Colorado Teachers Paid Above Average, But Performance Still Not in Equation

Are Colorado teachers underpaid, overpaid, or compensated about right? Many people have different opinions on the matter, but it’s always good to root opinion in fact when possible. In its most recent estimates the National Education Association ranked Colorado 29th in average teacher salary at $48,707, just a hair under the national average of $48,969. But as Terry Stoops explains in his new John Locke Foundation report (PDF), even the NEA admits that these data aren’t very good for apples-to-apples comparisons. So he went a step further and factor in cost of living, pension contributions, and average experience to see which state’s teachers are getting the most compensation value for their work. What did Stoops find?


School Choice Takes National TV Stage at Last Night's Presidential Debate

In contrast with the unimpressive remarks provided at the vice-presidential debate, I was excited to hear the candidates in last night’s presidential debate talk so much about school choice. The candidates agree on public school choice. First, an excerpt of Senator John McCain’s remarks: So choice and competition amongst schools is one of the key elements that’s already been proven in places in like New Orleans and New York City and other places, where we have charter schools, where we take good teachers and we reward them and promote them…. Charter schools aren’t the only answer, but they’re providing competition. They are providing the kind of competitions that have upgraded both schools — types of schools. And here’s some of what Senator Barack Obama had to say: Charter schools, I doubled the number of charter schools in Illinois despite some reservations from teachers unions. I think it’s important to foster competition inside the public schools. But then came the point of disagreement.