15 Years

Q Fifteen years.

THE PRESIDENT: Fifteen years. Okay, so you've been teaching for 15 years. I'll bet you'll admit that during those 15 years there have been a couple of teachers that you've met — you don't have to say their names — (laughter) — who you would not put your child in their classroom. (Laughter.) See? Right? You're not saying anything. (Laughter.) You're taking the Fifth. (Laughter.)

My point is that if we've done everything we can to improve teacher pay and teacher performance and training and development, some people just aren't meant to be teachers, just like some people aren't meant to be carpenters, some people aren't meant to be nurses. At some point they've got to find a new career.

And it can't be impossible to move out bad teachers, because that brings — that makes everybody depressed in a school, if there are some folks — and it makes it harder for the teachers who are inheriting these kids the next year for doing their job.

So there's got to be some accountability measures built in to this process. But I'm optimistic that we can make real progress on this front. But it's going to take some time. All right?

via The White House – Press Office – Remarks by the President at “Open for Questions” Town Hall.

Some teachers suck1. This ought to be freely admitted. To pretend otherwise is the path to zealotry and madness.

1 What does suck mean? I’ll just go with people you wouldn’t want your kids to have.

Comments on this post

  1. Mike H said on March 30, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Yes, some teachers suck and Tom, your definition fits the bill. I worry about a federal “this teacher sucks” measuring stick though. I’d much prefer a principal getting to decide who should get fired without teacher unions and other federal agencies blocking the choice. I don’t see that happening. There will be some 800 page, 1 billion dollar “Teacher Suckness Accountability Act” that somehow adds national standards on top of keeping state standards.

  2. Tom said on March 30, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    It will be interesting to see what happens. I don’t see this getting very far but who knows?

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