Sunday night, 60 Minutes ran one of the worst teacher bashing shows I have ever seen. They even had a segment with Joel Klein saying all a teacher had to do to get tenure was show up and breath.
The whole story was about how big bucks attract great teachers and how working 80 - 90 hours a week makes every student a superstar, only that didn't happen in this particular charter school and most teachers could not keep up this pace. Besides, why should anyone have to work 80- 90 hours a week to get kids to succeed? Isn't this requirement in itself an indication that something is wrong?
I've been teaching a long time and I've worked for a lot less than $125,000 with lots of colleagues who also make a lot less. That lack of money never stopped any of us from doing our best to get our kids to learn and succeed. Sure, more money would be nice but when a kid is standing in front of you and you know you can help, your $40,000 - $100,000 salary doesn't keep you from doing it. New York City has some of the finest teachers around. Bigger paychecks cannot attract better teachers. The best are already here.