Slate has an article today about a school in NYC that raised its performance by setting a high bar for teachers, pushing out those that flunked. Some definite pros and cons there. Key quote:
While it’s not fair to park the problem of global inequities at the doorstep of teachers unions, the continued floundering of public education in America is at least partly to blame: Education is an awfully good predictor of future earnings, and keeping bad teachers in classrooms filled with kids from poor families certainly helps to reinforce the cycle of poverty.
Of course, the big unanswered question is still around that “bad teacher” designation. Who defines that? What test can we use?