An Accurate Portrait of Teaching

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A must read op-ed by Checker Finn (who serves on NCTQ's Board of Directors) appeared in the Wall Street Journal on March 11. While Finn got pegged with a horrible title (Teachers Can?t Teach),making the Gadfly sound more like a Grinch, the content provides a spot-on analysis of the choices we've made over the last 50 years (like smaller class sizes) and the consequences we've suffered (like inadequate salaries for teachers leading to a dearth of talent).

Finn argues that over the years, few have objected to practices that have little or no research to support them, and that today, as a result, we "pay the price: lots of money spent on schooling, nearly all of it for salaries, but schooling that, at the end of the day, depends on the knowledge, skills and commitment of teachers who don't earn much and cannot see that they ever will."