Free-Market Teachers

Thanks to Lucy Gray for pointing me to this interesting post from NLU ed school prof Craig Cunningham  about several things among them what he describes as 'a pernicious and absolutely "effective" system of "natural
selection" among the schools for the talented, energetic, and visionary
teachers
.' 

While I have no easy answers to provide and the problem is certainly
not all teachers' faults, this timely reminder of the teaching divide
(as teachers move north and east or to the burbs or grad school)
reminds me that, while it's not hard to find a teacher who would
bad-mouth free market capitalism or the effects of competition, many
teachers want to operate just as freely, ruthlessly, and competitively
as any ruthless multinational corporation when it comes to picking
where they're going to work -- even though it's pretty clear what's
going to happen to the schools they don't pick (or leave behind).

For many teachers, choosing where to teach is one of the few
decisions that they make with absolute independence, and they hold onto
that "right" pretty hard.  For that I don't begrudge them.  But let's
be honest about the fact that it's essentially a free-market system
that allows that movement from school to school, and it's a system that
doesn't particularly provide talent where talent is needed most. 

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