What They're Saying

Curriculum Review, September 2001 | Go to article overview

What They're Saying


Ingredients for a good school

The most significant component in a good school is not the kids; it's not the neighborhood. It's the administration, and in particular, the principal. If principals know what they're doing, they can take an inner-city school and turn it around.

--Steven Platte, a 14-year veteran history teacher at Kirkwood High School in St. Louis, quoted in the Christian Science Monitor

Ingredients for a great school

Is there good news about America's schools? Yes: some of them are simply great, even against great odds. What makes them that way? To start with, gifted teachers and inspiring principals. But an exemplary school must also set great expectations-for instructors, students and parents. Great schools ask everyone to stretch. Then they give kids the tools and attention they need to reach their goals.

--From the introduction to the Time special report "Schools That Stretch"

Tell us how you really feel

After spending $125 billion of Title I money over 25 years, we have virtually nothing to show for it.

--Education Secretary Rod Paige

No wonder it's so hard to recruit new teachers

Massachusetts is off recruiting teachers in California, which already has a whopping shortage of its own. California has been sending people to hire its faculty from New Mexico, waving signing bonuses of up to $20,000. American school districts have headhunters wandering around Europe, Australia, India and South Africa. As they return bearing their human cargo, they cross paths with the recruiters from Britain, who are beating the bushes for teachers here in America. Earlier this year in the State of the State speeches, virtually every governor promised that this year, he/she would corral a whole passel of instructors from elsewhere and bring them back in time for the next school year.

Is it possible the world actually has only a couple dozen sixth-grade math instructors, who are being perpetually shuffled from one education job fair to the next? Really, you could change jobs every semester. I am thinking of a TV series in which a restless special education teacher fights evil and protects the innocent while wandering from one scenic vacation spot to another. …

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