I’ve written a lot about my concerns related to scapegoating teachers, firing all teachers in one school, and the tendency by some to look for magic bullets in school reform.
Education Week today published an excellent column by a former school Superintendent titled Is Firing Teachers The Answer?
Here’s an excerpt:
We should pay attention to what a quarter-century of research on successful school change has taught us. Children’s learning will improve if a teacher does something different and better in the classroom. I rarely met a teacher who was intentionally doing a bad job. As my understanding evolved, I realized that the issue was less teachers’ willingness than their ability to meet the daunting challenges they faced. So my strategy also evolved: from just clearing out the deadwood, to developing the skills and capacities of the vast majority of teachers who wanted to do a good job but needed help.
There’s a lot of wisdom, I think, in this short column.