"Today’s educational system is yesterday’s educational system. Imagine if medical care today employed remedies of a century ago. “Oh, that finger hurts? Let’s cut it off then.” We treat people differently today, thank goodness, so why shouldn’t we educate them differently as well?
Yet no one seems to have the foresight or fortitude to create a new vision for public schools, from the buildings that house students to the subjects taught to them to the food that is fed to them.
After nearly 20 years of teaching high school English and journalism, teaching over 3,000 students, mentoring dozens of new teachers, teaching university credential courses, and becoming a National Board Certified Teacher, I see what works, what’s wrong and so I have a plan."
"The world is changing. But
If nothing else, may this book spark a national discussion on how we need to prepare
A transformed public education system will make our country stronger. Often it is said that a country is as strong as its army. I say a country is as strong as its young people.
Every day 47 million children attend schools and they do so for 13 straight years. What type of experience do we want to provide
"How well are schools preparing the youth for this kind of future? Let’s look.
"Good teachers deserve $100,000 and more if public education is to serve its customers, the students, well into the 21st century. Increasing teachers' salaries significantly is the best way to markedly improve the state of public education."
"Teachers should be paid based on competency, not on years of service or units of college credit."
"Exceptional teachers should be able to earn more money than principals."
"Teachers in high-demand fields, such as math and science, should be paid more."
On Attracting Better Qualified People
"Until the applicant pool is enlarged to attract more talented individuals from more lucrative fields, the most critical job in
On Bad Teachers
"Principals should be able to fire incompetent teachers."
On the Importance of the Teacher's Role in Student Learning
"Too much money has been wasted on experts, consultants, programs, and computers. It is time to focus on the teacher for there is a teacher crisis in
"To improve student learning you have to improve teacher quality, period. A highly competent teacher is able to help students to achieve more than an instructor who isn't."
"The public is becoming increasingly aware that the professional teacher is the key to a better public school system."
"Polls all across
"The most important component in the classroom to make a true impact on the student is not the 2.0 gigahertz Pentium IV computer; it is the well-paid and much more thoroughly trained teacher."
"The teacher is the foundation of a productive learning environment and, if that teacher is no good, the students suffer. All the reading programs and computer hook-ups will be wasted if that classroom teacher is not capable of performing at an optimum level."
On Creating a Career Ladder for Teachers
"Creating a more private sector-like pay schedule with a true career ladder is the most immediate change that needs to be implemented."
"Unions must give up the notion of protecting the rights of all teachers no matter how bad they are and allow teachers to be paid according to their performance."
"Politicians have to relinquish taxpayers' money earmarked for special programs, be it Title I or Internet connections, and pool the money to create a legitimate professional pay scale."
On Holding Teachers Accountable
"Teachers themselves need to be willing to be evaluated by peers and sweep out the incompetent instructors who make all teachers look bad."
"Teachers should know (and be held accountable for knowing) the subject area they teach."
On Working Conditions
"The daily working conditions of the teacher need upgrading. Teachers should not have to do secretarial work such as answering phones and photocopying."