The great schools revolution, Ctd

Yesterday we discussed at length the great schools revolution.

But what works and what is needed? The author suggests that the keys to success are:

Of the four chief elements of schools reform, diversity of supply is by far the most striking. From New York to Shanghai to Denmark, schools free of government control and run by non-state providers are adding quality to the mix. To date, they seem most successful where the state has been unwilling or unable to make a difference. It is still not clear whether creating archipelagoes of Free Schools and charter schools will consistently drive improvement in other institutions, or whether that is wishful thinking.

What is clear, however, is that the shiniest new academy will struggle without decent teachers. An emphasis on better teacher quality is a common feature of all reforms. Countries like Finland and South Korea make life easier for themselves by recruiting only elite graduates, and paying them accordingly. Mr Gove has said that he wants to raise the degree threshold for teachers and offer “golden hellos” in areas of shortage, like science and language teaching. America has experimented at state level with merit pay and payment by results, but often in the teeth of opposition from the teachers’ unions.

In schools reform, structural progress—new sorts of schools, reorganised old ones, new exams—can happen very fast. Better teachers take much longer to form. They should be made the priority.

The teachers unions will fight any moves along these lines and for that reason alone we should do it.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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