Don’t miss Elizabeth Green’s forthcoming New York Times Magazine cover story, “Building a Better Teacher.” Infused into the piece is Elizabeth’s great sense for, and specifics about, what the teacher quality research does and does not say. The reason she does a more thorough and critical job of this than most recent magazine pieces on the topic is not just because Elizabeth is talented but because she is an education reporter. She is careful that every example, every word, accurately reflects the depth of knowledge that experience has given her and that she has gained from picking the brains time and again of all the big thinkers on this topic.
I don’t mean to sound dramatic about it, and you could accuse me of sucking up, given that Elizabeth sits on the EWA board. But really: It is terrific to see a piece that is sure to be influential written by someone who has truly done the tough legwork, over years, to make sure she really knows what she is talking about.
Who knows if Doug Lemov and Deborah Ball hold the answers? Regardless, this level of attention to making teachers good should not be the sole purview of charter management organizations and a few dedicated ed schools. I have sat through hours of mind-numbingly boring and useless professional development provided by various public school systems, and I—and the teachers who moan about the waste of time—can see there is plenty of room for improvement.