Parents recognize that excellent classroom teaching is key to their children's academic success. We also know that our most troubled schools, those in low-income communities, often lack the resources and supports necessary to attract, develop and keep the best teachers. The state's education deficit is, at least in part, a reflection of the disparities in the distribution and support of exceptional teachers in our schools. Our challenge is to provide high quality teaching to every student, in every school, to meet the demands of the 21st century.
Effective teachers are developed over time. Effective schools are places that help develop those teachers through a school culture where educators are encouraged to constantly improve their skills -- and are provided with the support and guidance to do so. Effective schools are places where educators can take leadership roles, and where they can look to their peers for guidance.
The current trend which promotes identifying and getting rid of "bad" teachers does not address the essential question of how to support the overwhelming majority of good teachers to help them get better.
Quality teaching and learning emerge when schools foster a culture of shared leadership and responsibility, high expectations, strong support and fair accountability.