Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quote of the Day

Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor for The Atlantic, on “a terrible mismatch between the characteristics of teachers most likely to produce excellent outcomes, and the characteristics of the systems that seek to attract and retain them" (hat tip: Megan McArdle):
Work environments hospitable to continual innovation tend to have relatively low barriers to entry, and relatively low barriers to exit. Schools invert that. Many have extensive up-front credentialing requirements, forcing novice teachers to invest substantial time and money at the beginning of their careers, before they can even decide whether they are indeed well-suited for the job. Early career teachers tend to get the least desirable assignments, and to be paid barely enough on which to live. On the other hand, most compensation packages are grossly back-loaded, offering lock-step seniority raises and substantial retirement benefits. So it's tough to get in the door, and once you do, leaving entails abandoning the rewards for which you've already labored before you can enjoy them. That's crazy.

1 comment:

kallikak said...

Typical pundit claptrap(I don't buy it).

If barriers to entry (e.g., serious educational credentials) constrained innovation around intellectual pursuits, we'd have a much thinner list of accomplishments in say, the health sciences.

No, Mr. Coates, what we have is a system that mandates extensive preparation in teaching technique over the substance of what is taught. What we need is more (upfront) rigor, not less.