Raising the Bar


It has recently been suggested that, in order to elevate the quality and status of teachers in America, teachers need to take a “bar exam.” After all, doctors and lawyers have serious hurdles to jump over in order to secure and maintain their licenses. The work that you do as a teacher is just as important as the work that a doctor or a lawyer does–in fact you educate future doctors and lawyers. Why shouldn’t teachers be held to the same standard as lawyers and doctors?
Being an effective teacher requires more than just attending professional development workshops. Excellent instruction in the classroom facilitates student learning, which leads to better achievement on formal assessments and standardized tests. Starting the discussion with disappointing test results, however, often brings up the “chicken or the egg” dilemma: is poor performance on standardized tests the fault of the teacher for not providing quality instruction or is it the fault of the student for failing to work hard and learn? Frequently, teachers are shouldering the blame.