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Spotlight on Teaching


Two national publications devoted cover stories last week to public school teaching. The New York Times magazine focuses on new research into what makes an effective teacher. Doug Lemov, who helped found a network of 16 charter schools in the Northeast, has developed a “taxonomy” of simple classroom techniques that hold students’ attention. Another researcher explored the particular knowledge required to teach math well.

Newsweek presents the case for firing bad teachers, noting that President Obama’s decision to take on teachers’ unions seems to be making an impact. Unions “don’t want to spend so much time defending the not-so-good teachers anymore,” the article quotes an Education Trust official as saying. Noting that many teachers are overworked, underpaid and unappreciated, the story concludes: “Maybe they’d get more respect if the truly bad teachers were let go.”

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