Reading for Pleasure is Fun, But What About Reading For Anger?
I am bashing my way through Dana Goldstein's comprehensive history of public school teaching in America, and while I'm not exactly enjoying the book (look at the cover, you can tell there aren't going to be any jokes) I am learning something: all this shit coming down the pipe right now has been tried before: merit pay plans, complex evaluation schemes that overburden administrators with paperwork, test data collection, tying school achievement to test scores, and strict productivity measures . . . and none of it has worked any miracles, so it's sad and frustrating that the nation is wasting time on the re-institution of these ideas, when the key to good teaching is the same as it ever was-- attract smart, passionate, and creative teachers who know their stuff and put them in an environment that is conducive to learning (but of course, it's hard to measure how smart, creative and passionate a teacher is . . . which is why the business world has gotten away with byzantine evaluation systems . . . but education, ironically, is always the last to learn anything).