FIRING TEACHERS based on student test scores will have minimal impact on the quality of education. It didn’t work at English High School, and it won’t work in Lawrence (“School overhaul hits 16 teachers,” Metro, July 6).
It may even make matters worse. By focusing on a relatively small group of underperforming teachers, these efforts fail to address the essential issue: How do we develop an outstanding educator work force?
Who should we encourage to enter the profession? The “best and the brightest” as they do in countries like Japan that consistently beat us on international standardized tests? Or should we continue to recruit educators from the bottom third of graduating classes?
Do we provide professional development programs, challenge our good teachers to become great teachers, and provide intensive support to those teachers who are struggling?
At a time when teacher retirement is at an all-time high, we must focus our energies on selecting and inspiring teachers — not just firing them.