In America, we're stripping teachers of much of their classroom autonomy, and questioning their mastery. Once we remove teachers' intrinsic purpose, no amount of money will pull promising candidates into long-term careers in the classroom.
Honestly, I have never met a parent who said "Well, nobody in my family is gifted, but I fully support a special teacher, classroom, budget and field trips for the gifted kids. Because those kids are going to be the leaders of tomorrow--not my children."
A quick look at our most gifted leaders--Americans whose work has saved or enriched millions of lives--tells us that being identified as "gifted" is never a prerequisite for world-changing discoveries or great statesmanship.
When was the last time you heard a teacher exclaim "You don't know how much I needed this?"
In which direction should the dialogue about school reform run? What would happen if we turned the pyramid on its side, rendering all parties equal and the conversations horizontal and bi-directional?
Is newer always better, when it comes to education? Might some values and practices be timeless?
High school sports get more space than national news, most days. And high school athletes get more mentions in the local press than National Merit Scholars.
What happens when you confuse "quality teacher" with actual teaching quality?
Are teachers overpaid? How much does compensation matter in building a high-quality teaching force?
Teachers usually approach Halloween with a mix of stoic resignation and determined tolerance for excess. As in: I got through this before, and I can do it again. Pass the Kit Kat bars.