Sam Chaltain: The Problem with Obama’s Plan for Teachers.

On one level, today’s news that the Obama administration is ordering states to devise strategies to get better teachers into high-poverty classrooms should be welcomed. After all, although it’s true that every child deserves a great teacher, it’s also true that if there aren’t enough to go around, the kids who have the least amount of existing social supports should get to be the first in line.

On another level, though, it’s notable that in all of the public language announcing this effort, nowhere does the president draw a direct line between the social conditions in high-poverty communities that directly impact both the capacity to recruit most persuasively, and the ability to teach most effectively.

This is all the more glaring because, in his letter announcing the initiative to all 50 states’ chief school officers, U.S. education secretary Arne Duncan said this: “Equality of opportunity is a core American value. Equal educational opportunity means ensuring schools have the resources they need to provide real and meaningful opportunities for all students to succeed, regardless of family income or race.” Duncan continues this line of thinking when he says, near the end of his letter: “Our continued collective failure to ensure that all students have access to great teachers and school leaders is squarely at odds with the commitment we all share to equal educational opportunity.”

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Article Credit
“Sam Chaltain: The Problem with Obama’s Plan for Teachers.”
By Sam Chaltain
National Education Policy Center. National Education Policy Center, 9 July 2014. Web. 09 July 2014.