The shortage of qualified teachers in our nation’s classrooms is critical, and it is getting worse. This thought-provoking book reveals the reasons for the crisis and offers concrete, affordable solutions.
“A practical vision of how our children can get the high-quality teaching they deserve—a vision worth pondering and even implementing.”—Ted Fiske, former Education Editor of the New York Times and coauthor of When Schools Compete: A Cautionary Tale
“This book should be read not just by teachers and teacher educators but also by parents, citizens, and policy makers—by all those who need to speak out for children.”—Deborah Meier, Educational Leadership
“Why do so few people go into teaching, or once they have begun a career in public school teaching, abandon it? Kitty Boles and Vivian Troen, teachers both, investigate that question and then propose considerable and thoughtful changes that would bring great benefit to our beloved profession.”—Theodore Sizer and Nancy Faust Sizer, authors of The Students Are Watching: Schools and the Moral Contract
Many school reform efforts are merely Band-Aids that do more harm than good and don't solve the problems they are intended to correct. According to veteran teachers Troen and Boles, "Public education has become a closed-loop system of dysfunction." The public has been inundated with critiques of education and proposals for fixing schools: conduct more testing, ax the unions, stop social promotion, raise standards, etc.
However, efforts to address these problems are likely doomed to failure, say the authors, because they seldom consider the most important variable: teacher quality. This well-researched, thoughtful proposal for an overhaul of America's public education system identifies three major problems with the teaching profession: not enough academically able students are being drawn to teaching; teacher preparation programs are inadequate; and teachers' professional lives are unacceptable, "isolating" and "unsupportive." Rather than suggest radical new ideas, Troen and Boles offer a model of reform they call the "Millennium School," which gathers the best of what is known about how to transform the teaching profession and wraps it up neatly in a commonsense package.
This reasoned response to the teacher crisis does not offer a quick or painless fix. It will take time, money and hard work to straighten things out. But if parents and teachers want "no child left behind," as the president proposes; Troen and Boles insist we must remedy the deep, systemic problems in the teaching profession now, before all the good teachers leave the schools.