Ted Appel, the principal at our school, made that comment when we were discussing that we can’t “fire our way to the Top or test our way to the Top” but, instead, we need to focus on “practicing to the Top.” In other words, we need to emphasize helping teachers hone their craft.

At the same time, we discussed how there is not necessarily universal agreement on what those “best practices” should be, and that’s when Ted commented on two of us who have very different teaching styles.

Coincidentally, the “question-of-the-week” at my Education Week Teacher column is “What Are Five Best Practices Teachers Can Implement?”

Many well-known and respected practitioners are contributing guest responses to that question, and I hope readers will also contribute. It will be interesting to see if there are any common denominators.

Also coincidentally, The Wall Street Journal published an article titled Two Economists on School Reform: We Know (A Few) Things That Work. It’s about a new book, Restoring Opportunity, and two economists examine three different schools to see how they achieve success. They claim to have identified some common practices, but I haven’t gotten a chance to read the book yet so can’t say for sure what I think of their findings (though I’m certainly skeptical of their assertion that Common Core is a key one and I do have a decidedly skeptical view of economists and education).

Interestingly, they created an infographic summarizing their book, which is embedded below using Pinterest (which means it won’t show-up in an RSS Reader).

Let me know if you think that, despite there being different communities, different students, and different teaching styles, there are some universals to good teaching practice…..