A teacher with whom I work shared an article with me today, written by Iowa's former Director of Education, Dr. Jason Glass. He is now the superintendent of Eagle County Schools in Colorado. In response to the teacher's curiosity about my thoughts on the article, I wrote the following, and thought you (gentle reader) may enjoy hearing them as well.
At the heart of substantial and lasting improvement (and how, indeed, does one decide whether a school needs improving or not, and who is the one doing the deciding?) for me is in his phrase, "Treat educators as professionals."This is done in a number of important ways. The most obvious is the wage of a teacher, but modern research has established that more pay alone will not improve student achievement or teacher retention, nor will the promise of a bonus or threat of a cut increase effort. Actually, these methods have a detrimental effect on employee work habits.