I was chatting with a dyslexia specialist at a public middle school in a wealthy Northeast U.S. district. The union pay scale for teachers reaches $100,000 per year for those with a bit of experience. The specialist interacts with nearly all of the roughly 70 teachers in the school.
- me: How many of the teachers would you say are excellent?
- her: About 2 percent. But another 50 percent are “good”.
- me: So 48 percent of the students aren’t getting the curriculum delivered as designed?
- her: True. But you have to remember that it is all about the school leadership. They’re not investing enough in teacher training. The administrators send one teacher to a class and then expect the teacher to come back and teach other teachers. That’s not what they’re qualified to do.
- me: Suppose that the district had infinite budget and time for training teachers. How many would then work hard enough to become “excellent”?
- her: Maybe 10 percent.