President Barack Obama: 'Our goal is accountability'
From President Obama's speech today to the National Urban League:
So, I want teachers to have higher salaries. I want them to have more support. I want them to be trained like the professionals they are - with rigorous residencies like the ones doctors go through. I want to give them career ladders so they have opportunities to advance, and earn real financial security. I want them to have a fulfilling and supportive workplace environment, and the resources - from basic supplies to reasonable class sizes - to help them succeed. Instead of a culture where we're always idolizing sports stars or celebrities, I want us to build a culture where we idolize the people who shape our children's future.
All I'm asking in return - as a president, and as a parent - is a measure of accountability.
Surely we can agree that even as we applaud teachers for their hard work, we need to make sure they're delivering results in the classroom. If they're not, let's work with them to help them be more effective. And if that fails, let's find the right teacher for that classroom. As Arne says, our kids get only one chance at an education, and we need to get it right. ...
So, for anyone who wants to use Race to the Top to blame or punish teachers - you're missing the point. Our goal isn't to fire or admonish teachers. Our goal is accountability. It's to provide teachers with the support they need to be as effective as they can be. It's to create a better environment for teachers and students alike.