Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Firing Bad Teachers Trumps Retention Efforts

May 01, 2007 1 min read

To the Editor:

It is quite easy to share the anger of Randi Weingarten, the president of the United Federation of Teachers, when it comes to the application of theory that has obviously not worked to date to bolster teacher quality (“Scholars Suggest Policies to Bolster Teacher Quality,” April 11, 2007). But to argue that retaining teachers is a more crucial issue than firing bad ones is to call for the perpetuation of a gross disservice to students everywhere.

My school’s staff was reminded frequently of one question to ask themselves at the end of each school day: “If my own child was a student in each of my five classes today, would I have been satisfied with the level of instruction given?” To indicate that firing bad teachers is not crucial, or not as crucial as any other aspect of what we do, is to imply that we can write off certain classes and their students because it is more important to keep the teacher than to ensure the best educational experience possible.

Steven C. Appelbaum

Boca Raton, Fla.

A version of this article appeared in the May 02, 2007 edition of Education Week as Firing Bad Teachers Trumps Retention Efforts

Let us know what you think!

We’re looking for feedback on our new site to make sure we continue to provide you the best experience.

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

7796 - Director of EAL (K-12) - August '21
Dubai, UAE
GEMS Education
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools
Great Oaks AmeriCorps Fellow August 2021 - June 2022
New York City, New York (US)
Great Oaks Charter Schools

Read Next

Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of stories from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read