What made Bob an excellent teacher was the very fact that he was a generalist. Every kid in that system learned about science from a man who was broadly knowledgeable, showing them the function of scientific principles in their everyday life and modeling curiosity about the way the world works.

Is there more to education than dispensing knowledge and skills? Does the community school still have a place?

Have we squandered the terrible momentum engendered by that day in September?

If things were not perceived to be uniformly ghastly, we may be looking at investment and transformation over time for our most challenged public schools. Building on what we have. Hope. But no.

Teachers--what are your back-to-school dreams?

Sometimes, ed policy world feels like the jocks' table in the cafeteria--men tossing out stats, men wrestling with contrary views , men confidently making strong opinion plays and engaging in a little verbal back-slapping.

Who wouldn't want to add value to a child's education and life prospects? When you understand the clear, working definition of the numeric value being appended, however, the noble-sounding descriptor "value" feels a lot less...valuable.

Do elitist credentials improve the odds that teachers will be more effective? If so, there must be more to accomplished teaching than most people think.

Our kids--and our nation--deserve a better way to genuinely invest in public education than a 5% kickback on cargo shorts for missionary teachers.

It's become kind of hip to take potshots at the collective IQ of the teaching pool and teachers' training models. Are we going to pay for that, eventually?

The opinions expressed in Teacher in a Strange Land are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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