I attended a meeting of the BESE last week and was taken by one of the last agenda items discussed, which was funding for the Teach For America program.
I have personally never been involved directly with Teach For America, except through watching its impact on students and schools. Their program is all about locating the very highest level “student” in the country and training them to teach, in part by their own example of excellence.
John Chubb, newly appointed president of the National Association of Independent Schools, made a statement at a meeting I attended recently: “You can take the highest quartile teacher and assign them the lowest quartile students, and within 2-3 years those students will be performing in the top quartile,
"But, the reciprocal is also true. If you take the lowest quartile teacher and assign them the highest quartile students, within that same time frame the students will be performing in the lowest quartile.”
John Chubb confirmed that 100 percent of the research over his long tenure at Brookings proved that point.
Chubb’s statement clearly confirms the absolute importance of teachers. Teach For America does the best job I am aware of in promoting that expectation level. We, in turn, must willingly support them. When we do, students win!
Bobby Welch, president
The Dunham School