Reposted from USA Today:
“The five statutes in question struck down by the State of California could not show that the laws in any way supported the education of children. To the contrary, the trial showed that the system is stacked against poor and minority students who are more likely to get the bad draw of teachers.
The decision brings into sharp focus the central policy issue of student achievement. As the court noted, students facing grossly ineffective teachers suffer long term economic losses, amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars for each classroom of students subjected to these teachers.
There is also a larger national interest in resolving this problem. The economic future of our nation rests on the skills of our population. My own research suggests that replacing just 5% to 8% of the least effective teachers with an average teacher would noticeably boost the achievement of our current students and would pay off lavishly in the future, through their enhanced productivity and faster economic growth. The gains according to historical economic patterns would be measured in trillions of dollars and would be sufficient to solve our national fiscal problems as well as the vexing income distribution issues currently being debated.
This is not a war on teachers but a straightforward move in what must be a concerted national effort to lift the performance of our students. It is something that the unions should be supporting. They should not be in the position of defending the worst teachers, but instead should be rallying around a national effort to recognize the importance of our schools.”
Agree or disagree?