Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Public education is not easy

This was a response to an article about the need for merit pay and Charter Schools.

Really !

Who will teach the unteachable? The criminals? I had them in my class. How do you measure success? Good grades? Good citizens? I would love to see what the religious (Charter Schools) would do with an atheist. Should they deny funding rather than accepting an atheist?
How about the unmotivated?

Can a great teacher motivate students in the gang infested urban schools? If you think so, you have watched too many movies.

It is easy to be a great teacher -- only teach those who need good grades to move on -- don't work in a school where students (or their parents) do not think that graduating is important. Don't teach in a school that requires more than 20 students in a class. Teach in a school where the parents are willing to pay for more attention to students.

Students and parents who have will always have greater education -- even from teachers who are not stellar.

Those who do not have will always need to share the attention of any teacher -- good or bad. However. the business model will measure success on a short term time-line.

Education for the masses is a very very long term venture. No bottom line measured each year is meaningful. Success comes one student at a time over a very long time.

A Charter school is a great way to separate those who will succeed anyway from those who need to be educated.

My $.02