Don’t blame teachers for achievement gap

Stephanie Lowden:

With all due respect to John Legend and Geoff Canada, firing teachers is not the solution to the achievement gap in Madison schools. The two spoke in Madison last week, prompting Friday’s article “Reformers: City schools need institutional change.”
I have been a substitute teacher in many classrooms since 2005 in Madison schools. What do I see?
Teachers who come early and stay late. Teachers who keep a stash of granola bars in their desks for the child who doesn’t make it to school on time for breakfast. Aides who lovingly attend to children with serious special needs.
I see 5-year-olds so out of control they can disrupt a classroom in minutes. Kids who live in their cars.