Millions more teachers and one hundred Common Core converts

There have been some truly creative (although not necessarily wise) ideas for how to boost student achievement and attendance kicking around this week, from Adderall for all to LoJacking students. Education sorely needs innovation, but let’s focus it on a more important question: How do we attract and retain great educators?

The El Paso superintendent who pushed students out of school to game the state accountability system will serve more than three years in prison following fraud convictions. Jail time for juking school stats (among other misdeeds) may sound extreme but so is the damage cheating by adults does to students. Gadfly applauds the federal judge who reflected the gravity of such school-data scandals in the disgraced supe’s sentence.

Perhaps we don’t need to hire “millions and millions of teachers” after all: Jay Greene concisely explained in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal why the teacher shortage is a figment of America’s imagination. The problem, for the next month at least, is that truth just doesn’t poll as well.

More than 100 Roman Catholic dioceses around the country have adopted the Common Core standards, part of a growing embrace by private schools. It appears that the standards’ merits, not federal strong-arming, best explain their appeal after all—or maybe the conspiracy is even deeper than critics originally thought…

Last weekend, the New York Times rightly rightly highlighted the vocabulary gap that low-income students face entering Kindergarten face relative to their wealthier peers last weekend. Let’s hope the article sparks a wider conversation about other gaps in cultural literacy and how to close them.

Negotiations between Hawaii and the state teacher union have stalled out yet again, raising the possibility of a statewide strike. Gadfly can only assume the press would pounce on the story (how many reporters would insist on covering the story on location?) and Democrats would shudder at reliving Chicago's internecine conflict between labor and reform advocates. Keep all eyes on Honolulu…

More By Author