David Greene taught for many years and most recently has been mentoring new teachers. He read Pasi Sahlberg’s post this morning which said that Finnish teachers are not “the best and the brightest,” but those who are both capable and are committed to becoming career educators. Reflecting on Pasi’s article, he wrote this one of his own. 

David is upset by the suggestion of the Chancellor of the New York Board of Regents that “high-performing districts,” with high test scores and high graduation rates might be exempted from the teacher-principal test-score based evaluations. Her purpose, one suspects, is to tamp down the opt out movement, which is especially strong in suburban districts.

He asks:

So, according to [Chancellor Merryl] Tisch, those who teach our “best and brightest” (i.e. mostly wealthier and whiter) would be exempt as a result of New York’s two-tier education system that also is the most highly segregated in the nation.

Tisch makes me wonder. Was I a highly effective teacher in wealthy and white Scarsdale High School when I taught her nephew? Was I a developing or effective teacher in mostly middle class and integrated Woodlands High School? And did that make me an ineffective teacher at Adlai Stevenson High School in the Bronx, the nation’s poorest urban county, regardless of the huge number of success stories that emanated from there?