Why Charter Schools Work by Deborah Kenny
from the Wall St. Journal, June 25, 2012
Accountability for results and freedom from union rules attract the best teachers into the profession.
Charters succeed because of their two defining characteristics – accountability and freedom. In exchange for being held accountable for student achievement results, charter schools are generally free from bureaucratic and union rules that prevent principals from hiring, firing or evaluating their own teams.
Accountability attracts the best teachers into the profession. Smart, driven people want to work in a place that holds them accountable, where they’ll work alongside educators who share their values – first among them, a belief that all children can learn at a high level. It’s exciting to work with talented colleagues who believe enough in their own abilities that they are willing to be held accountable for student learning outcomes.
Every school in this country can and must be filled with teachers like that. When the union and political forces that are protecting the status quo finally come around to doing what’s best for children, they will find that it is also what’s best for the majority of teachers. Then we will see the best and brightest minds competing for the privilege of working in the teaching profession – a profession that will finally be elevated to its rightful place as the noblest in our nation.
I think Deborah Kenny writes a very lucid explanation as to why Charter Schools are superior to public schools. She makes an excellent point when she says, “Accountability attracts the best teachers into the profession. . . . talented colleagues who believe enough in their own abilities that they are willing to be held accountable for student learning outcomes.”
When we finally give schools the freedom from bureaucratic and union rules, is when we will finally have the “best and brightest minds competing for the privilege of working in the teaching profession.” That day cannot come soon enough.