Op-Ed: ‘Our schools have ignored the flight of great teachers’
A 33-year veteran educator believes ‘we need to replace blind policies so teachers know their performance matters.’
Original op-ed in TakePart by Laurie Walters.
Better evaluation would allow us to recognize and learn from our most talented teachers, support those who struggle and want to improve, and provide a mechanism for counseling out teachers who aren’t a good fit for this challenging and important craft. Nothing is more frustrating to teachers than inheriting students who spent the previous year languishing in the classroom of an ineffective colleague. And nothing destroys school culture faster than the feeling that some of your colleagues aren’t advancing a mission of academic excellence for kids.
In addition, we should collaborate on expanding opportunities for teachers to take on more leadership roles in their schools. TNTP found that creating opportunities for career advancement is one of the most promising ways to get the best teachers to stay.
I know career opportunity matters because it’s what has kept me in the classroom for so long. When the Los Angeles Unified School District began piloting teacher-designed schools that had more autonomy, I jumped at the chance to create my own school. I worked with a team of teachers to create the blueprint for New Open World Academy, a public school nestled inside the historic Robert F. Kennedy Complex in Los Angeles. It was a fantastic experience that rejuvenated and reinforced my commitment to public education.
To read the complete op-ed, visit TakePart.