In all of this talk about accountability in schools, policymakers sometimes lose sight of the real accountability that takes place at the teaching and learning level. That accountability is hard to measure when we talk about policy, but when we talk about learning, everyone seems to know the deal. This week, a teacher wrote in Ed Week that she needs a culture of professional respect and learning in order to do her job—not money, promotion, and or other incentives—and especially not punitive measures based on questionable testing data.
While many of my students may come from poverty or difficult home situations, the support I receive bolsters my determination to give each student my very best and to confront academic and discipline issues from a proactive standpoint. I don’t earn more money than teachers in other districts, and I’d be hard pressed to leave my school simply because I was offered more money or perks.