Teachers are not to blame

Tools that help teachers, not firings, are the key to education success

CommonWealth Magazine, Summer 2010

IN THE PAST few months, President Obama, Gov. Deval Patrick, and the press have practically made “education reform” synonymous with “firing teachers.”

The president praised a Rhode Island school superintendent for firing high school teachers. Patrick proposed legislation to make it easier for superintendents to dismiss teachers in underperforming schools. The US Department of Educa­tion requires that many of the schools eligible for school-improvement money dismiss half their teachers. Along similar lines, prominent supporters of education “reform” are pushing charter schools, merit pay, and school choice.