Efforts to bring the academic results of some of the nation’s best urban charter schools to a far larger scale are “sharply constrained” by limits on the supply of talent willing and able to undertake the highly demanding work, argues a new working paper by Steven F. Wilson, a senior fellow at Education Sector, a Washington think tank.
He studied eight of what he terms “no excuses” charter schools in Boston that rely on “passionate” recent graduates from some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities to produce strong academic achievement for children from low-income families.
In the paper, published by the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute’s Future of American Education Project, Mr. Wilson outlines two potential strategies to address the situation. The first, which he concedes may seem “improbable,” is to expand dramatically the number of “elite college graduates” who teach in urban public schools, if only for several years.
The second would be to devise a comprehensive, “powerful instructional system” that would enable a “more broadly available workforce to consistently succeed in educating their students to a high standard.”
A version of this article appeared in the November 05, 2008 edition of Education Week