Follow the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
Tweets from the WDRB Newsroom, Reporters and Anchors.More >>
The annual report from the National Council on Teacher Quality is out, and the (reasonably) good news is that Kentucky ranks in 24th place with regard to policies that foster teacher quality. The bad news is that it only took a "D+" grade for us to rank that high.
That dismal grade is due, in large part, to the fact that while Kentucky ranks decently with regard to its policies aimed at identifying and retaining good teachers, it fails miserably in its commitment to ridding itself of bad ones. According to the report, Kentucky has "no articulated consequences" for teachers who receive unsatisfactory evaluations, and no stated policy that ineffectiveness constitutes grounds for dismissal.
This is our problem in a nutshell. It isn't that Kentucky doesn't have good teachers. We do. We just have too many incompetent ones who rarely, if ever, have to face any consequences – largely because of powerful unions that tie the hands of administrators who would love to elevate the bar if only they were allowed.
Teacher unions aren't going away anytime soon. And I'm not even saying they should. But that doesn't mean future contracts can't be negotiated that require much more performance from teachers in exchange for job security. On what moral ground could a teachers union object to that?