Great Teaching Doesn’t Just Happen (UPDATED)

In the space of a week, three major magazines have turned their focus to the revolution happening in public school teaching.

  • In “Building a Better Teacher,” The NYT Magazine describes how leaders in the field are bringing new scrutiny to teachers’ classroom practices, content knowledge, and incentives.
  • In “What Makes a Great Teacher?,” The Atlantic reports on what Teach for America has learned about selecting teachers over the years, and what does and doesn’t predict success. (Hint: not a master’s in education.)
  • In “Why We Must Fire Bad Teachers,” Newsweek reviews the struggle to do just that.

As always in these stories of educational progress against entrenched opposition, charter schools emerge as a theme. Charters are where educators have the autonomy to experiment and grow what works for students, without the weight of a bureaucracy designed by and for grown-up interests.

But charter schools aren’t the story, nor should they be. As we like to say, it’s about great public schools.

UPDATE: Via GothamSchools, Doug Lemov talks teaching on NPR.