Poverty Is What's Crippling Public Education in the U.S.—Not Bad Teachers
- Test students more often, so we can measure learning incrementally. Test students in every subject, and at every grade level—even kindergarten, so that all teachers can be properly judged.
- Eliminate barriers to firing the "bad teachers" who get low scores, so due process and seniority protections have to go.
- Create new evaluation plans that give significant weight to "value added" measures drawn from test scores, for both teachers and administrators.
- Test scores increased less, and achievement gaps grew more, in “reform” cities than in other urban districts.
- Test-based accountability prompted churn that thinned the ranks of experienced teachers, but not necessarily bad teachers.
- School closures did not send students to better schools or save school districts money.
- The reforms missed a critical factor driving achievement gaps: the influence of poverty on academic performance.