Fire the bad ones! An AP poll found 78 percent of those surveyed believe there should be a better way to get rid of under-performing educators. Dale Mezzacappa, Contributing Editor for The Notebook and Dr. Chuck Williams (a.k.a., Dr. Chuck) from Drexel University debate one another (via video editing, not face to face) on the topic on this recent Fox 29 piece. Personally, I feel that standardized tests are only one measure of a teacher’s performance and I’d hate to see even more schools trending towards ‘teaching to the test’ which is already an unfortunate side effect of No Child Left Behind. I think that the most likely way to get rid of underperforming teachers is through revamping or outright eliminating the tenure system. Charter schools that I have visited that I am most impressed by do not have strong tenure systems. Teachers perform or are not asked back. I believe that this practice is directly responsible for the success of those charters. If school districts scale back the tenure system and make teaching jobs more competitive to obtain (by increasing salaries to attract more people to the profession–easier said than done, admittedly), I know that we would see teacher performance improve across the board. And how do you figure out who are the underperformers, without relying on standardized test results? There are lots of great ideas out there, but that’s a topic for another post. What are your thoughts?