This came from an ASCD smart brief that came in my mailbox earlier this week and I couldn’t have said it better myself.
“No education system can outperform the quality of its teachers, yet wide-scale, consistent efforts to attract and retain great teachers are hard to find. Lately, teacher quality has been an either-or proposition, with policies and publications fixating on retaining the best performers and dismissing the worst. This is not a human capital strategy for building a world-class teacher corps.”
They continue saying, “Performance pay may get a lot of press, but actual teachers and teaching candidates rank job supports, particularly strong leadership and a high-quality peer group, as having the biggest influence on whether they pursue a career in education.”
In a column in the magazine Fast Company earlier this year, the Heath Brothers (authors of Made to Stick and Switch), said that rather than to keep focusing on looking for and retaining ‘talent’, it would be more efficient and best to grow it. You can read the full post here.
All of this assumes first of all, that everyone is being compensated fairly to begin with.
Finally, I’m was happy to discover a little while back that the Huffingtonpost has added a page dedicated to education. There’s a post about what the possible future of education might look like. The author of the post says, “rather than focusing on improving the classroom, we should be devoting resources to improving the brains students bring into the classroom by enhancing each student’s neural capacities and motivation for life-long learning.” In other words developing growth-mindsets. Teaching kids to develop adaptable, flexible, and thinking brains that are driven.