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Charter model of underpaid, overworked teachers is not the answer

Citizens for Public Schools is proud to be part of the groundswell of opposition to the massive Boston school budget cuts that are hurting children (“A ‘starving’ school system?” Opinion, Feb. 26). We are surprised that Farah Stockman seems to believe that the way to solve Boston’s problems is to adopt the charter school model: inexperienced, underpaid, and overworked teachers who burn out fast, but can be replaced by more of the same.

That is not what affluent suburban parents expect and routinely get for their children, and it is not good enough for Boston children.

A new teacher working with little sleep may be able to execute a scripted lesson, but few can adapt lessons to the varying needs and personalities of children and help each one grow. That takes the skill and intuitive feel for children that comes with years of experience. We should make teaching in Boston more attractive, not less.

Smaller classes, more respect, and relief from the test score obsession would help. But salaries matter. Teachers have families to support. If Massachusetts political and business leaders mean what they say about the importance of education in enhancing the quality of our lives and the strength of our knowledge-based economy, they will put money behind their words. You get what you pay for.


Lisa Guisbond
Executive director
Citizens for Public Schools