What Would Happen If We Put Teachers in Charge of School Reform?

Innovations Like New Standardized Tests and Merit Pay Distract Those of Us Who Are Trying to Make Real Change in the Classroom

students testing

Being a teacher has always been a challenge. It is a much greater challenge in the era of “reform.” It has been infuriating to read all the silliness, even worse to have to comply with the misguided mandates. But we teachers are ourselves partly at fault—for reacting rather than acting.

The “reform” movement has been an obstacle to our own organic reform efforts at Hillsdale High School in San Mateo, California, where I have been teaching since 1985. Although the impact is hard to quantify, “reform” has too often distracted and …

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