December 2008 Archives

I'm just going to put it out there if it wasn't apparent already-- I'm a Rhee fan. I believe in focusing our time, resources and brains on teacher competency as our primary way of closing the dire achievement gap, and I believe in plucking the many incompetent teachers from schools and sweeping them far, far away from teaching our children. Anyone's who's worked in an under-performing school knows at least a handful of these teachers. I gladly forgo my own seniority and tenure as a teacher to know that those teachers-- the ones who ultimately make my and my children's ...

We are closing the achievement gap before it ever begins. You heard me. The gap won't have a chance. It was late summer and I was at a coffee shop desperately pumping up my hesitant first-year teacher for her kindergarten interview. She had taught secondary math all summer and now she had a chance in early childhood. Understandably, she was scared. As someone with only secondary experience, I was mildly terrified too. But if it's where she was needed to be, then let's do it. She just needed a little urging. Pounding the table with my fist, I explained: Preschool ...

For at least one child in DC, the student pay system is working. It's helping to close the achievement gap. Hooray to Roland Fryer and the system he created to pay students $50 for every A earned. (Check out The Colbert Report's interview with the founding economist of the program.) This child was one of those solid-D, maybe-C students. One of the sweet ones in middle school who didn't cause a ruckus in class, but who straggled to class and needed four reminders to pull out a pencil and follow along with the guided reading notes. He has a learning ...


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