What if there were a way to replace old, non-excellent teachers with fresh new ones—and best of all, make sure that the new teachers remain freshly excellent? Great news reader! The problem that has long stifled our public schools, causing our students to lag and languish, has at last been solved. The solution comes to us via Scot Lehigh who *gets* that if you let teachers hang around for too long they get stale.
The model may be changing. It could be that a lot of smart young people want to spend a few years teaching and then try something else. If they deliver strong results, is that necessarily bad that they only teach temporarily? —Scot Lehigh, Boston Globe
I have but one response to this idea: bravo, sir. Bravo! In fact, Mr. Lehigh’s bold and visionary solution is SO bold and visionary that it seems a shame to confine its brilliance to our failed and failing public schools. Why not let some of our other struggling institutions—say, our newspaper industry—get in on a little of this innovation action?
No opinion writer left behind
You see, like our public schools, newspapers are failing to measure up. The metric measuring this steady descent is a standardized test known as newspaper sales, and like dailies across the country, the Boston Globe has seen scores plummet since the 1990’s, thanks to shrinking advertising revenues. That’s meant lay-offs in newsrooms, including the Boston Globe, where you might be surprised to learn, writers enjoy a union contract that affords them many of the same protections that have stifled innovation in our failed and failing public schools.
Fortunately it won’t be difficult to find plenty of excellent young people to spend a few years crafting opinion pieces before moving on to something else. I believe they are called freelancers and in this, the era of the Internets, they are rivaled only by education reformers in sheer number. As for delivering “strong results,” I’m betting that these smart young people will have enough freshness and excellence to produce new and different opinion columns for each deadline, rather than submitting the same piece over, over, over, over and over again and hoping no one notices…