Over the last two years, thousands of teachers across the country were issued pink slips amid state budget cuts and fierce political battles over testing scores and teaching effectiveness.
But the impact teachers have on individual student achievement is now thought to be one of the most important factors in student learning. A good teacher can provide the educational foundation for a student, introducing them to the intricacies of the world through history, science, language arts and math. A great teacher can inspire students in life-changing ways.
So what makes a great teacher great?
During the week of May 23, WBUR broadcasts a series exploring how teacher salary, training, personality and evaluations can play a role in making a great teacher.
We hear from students, teachers and others — including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan — about the qualities that distinguish a great teacher from all the rest.
- Do you have a story to share about a teacher who changed your life? Add your story here.
Friday, May 27
Teachers' salaries are not linked to their performance; they are linked to how long they've been on the job and their level of education. But would higher paid teachers make a difference in education?
To wrap our series, we asked Massachusetts Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester about proposed new teacher evaluation regulations and whether evaluations should be linked to student test scores.
Thursday, May 26
As part of our week-long series, WBUR hosted a live panel discussion at our Boston studios. The topic: is good teaching teachable? You can watch the video here.
Are great teachers born with the gift, or can we teach great teaching? We hear about strategies some experts use to hone the teaching craft.
The Boston Student Advisory Council is lobbying to make student feedback part of the teacher evaluation process.
Wednesday, May 25
In our series, we’ve been examining what makes a teacher good. But what about bad teachers? Unfortunately some failing teachers are left in the classroom, especially in Boston Public Schools.
Christine Dunn is one of the educators of the future. And she’s finding out that once you have a classroom of your own, all that academic theory can quickly go out the window.
Tuesday, May 24
Over the next three years the Massachusetts’ teacher evaluation system will change significantly. The most controversial element requires using student test scores to rate teachers.
The state Board of Education has decided that student performance on the MCAS has to be a significant component of how teachers are evaluated. The town of Hingham is not happy about the news.
Monday, May 23
More and more research shows that teacher quality is the most important factor in learning. But what makes a good teacher? A good teacher has to be a social worker, a manager and an instructor.
We hear from teachers, students and others — including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan — about the qualities they say reign supreme when it comes to the makings of a phenomenal teacher.
This interactive map shows a district-by-district comparison of average teacher salaries, per pupil expenditures and MCAS scores for K-12 schools in Massachusetts.
WBUR News Director Martha Little was the series editor. WBUR’s Bob Oakes and Sacha Pfeiffer were the series hosts. WBUR’s Deborah Becker and Monica Brady-Myerov were the senior producers. WBUR’s Dave Shaw and Lisa Tobin and Jason Breslow and Lynn Jolicoeur were the producers. WBUR’s Michael Garth, George Hicks, Mike Toda and Missy Webb were the engineers. WBUR’s Deborah Becker, Monica Brady-Myerov, Bob Oakes, Sacha Pfeiffer, Fred Thys and Bianca Vazquez Toness reported. WBUR’s John Davidow was the senior Web editor. WBUR’s Jesse Costa, Keosha Johnson, Will Smith and Benjamin Swasey and Jeremy Bernfeld were the Web producers. WBUR’s Wendy Schwartz and Kristen Holgerson produced the on-air promotions.
This program aired on May 23, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.