Friday, April 09, 2010

Do "great teachers" make for a social equalizer?

When I was in the Army, there was a private joke that a razor blade was the great equalizer. (Some of you buddies from 1969 who find this post, I was the “Chicken man”.) Well, the Washington Post has an op-ed by Joel I. Klein, Michael Lomax, and Janet Murguia, on p A19, “Teachers: The Great Equalizers”, link here. The online title is instructive, “Why great teachers matter to low-income students”.

Teaching low income students is a very different proposition than teaching AP Calculus or AP Chemistry, which I have done as a sub. (In fact, Arlington County VA televises some of its AP classes on Comcast cable.) It involves much more personal engagement at a gut level, with a degree of pseudo- or substitute parenting. Preparing excellent teachers for these needs involves much more than just new academic tracks in universities.

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