Policymakers are busy writing laws in every state to evaluate teachers. They think they can create a system that will spot the best and fire the worst. So far, none of those systems is working, and none has made any difference, other than to make teachers nervous and make them wonder what these guys will dream up next to complicate their lives. The economists say that credential don’t matter; that masters’ degrees don’t matter; and that experiences doesn’t matter. They say that no one should be paid extra for getting more education or having more experience. They say only test scores matter, and those can be produced by a first-year teacher as well as a veteran.

A reader posted this comment:

My department head carries the title of master teacher. She is working on a second masters degree and has taught for over 20 years. My mentor teacher has been teaching over 10 years. I am starting my 5th year of teaching and not a day goes by when I dont seek their counsel. I am a product of a local alternative prep program. These folks that set it up are current teachers and have degrees in education. The director has her PhD and she assigns you a mentor who works with you throughout your first year along with your campus assigned mentor. The program is short (3 months) but these folks make sure you dont flounder that crucial first year. We take classes at night and are mentored very thouroughly. And after that first year they still hold alumni meets to see how we are doing and work with the local union to solve issues regarding our districts. In all the time I was in prep I never heard them say that teaching had a magic formula. They always said to seek the experienced teachers at our campus and to foster our education and professional development. I feel lucky to be an educator. And one thing for sure is I have learned a lot in 5 years. And by no means do I consider myself a master teacher.Especially not after my first year.  I am sure that will happen a long time from now when I gather something called…what was that word again? Oh yes. I believe it is experience!!