The trouble with education reform is finding that elusive mix of what works. It’s clear that parenting matters, good teaching matters and an effective principal matters. It’s also true that smart curriculum is necessary. Since being elected governor, Susana Martinez has directed much effort at improving the state’s public schools. Programs, though, do not always translate into effective policy, and ideas that sound good in sound bites don’t necessarily work in practice.
Take what sounds like a great idea — offer teachers a $5,000 bonus to leave excellent schools to work at schools that are not as successful. The idea, of course, is that teachers make the difference in whether students succeed. A compliment, finally, to teachers. (The governor’s stipend program also is offering $5,000 to teachers who get more students to pass Advanced Placement test. That one makes more sense.) We have concerns, however, about the first program — and we’re pleased to hear Santa Fe teachers don’t appear to be falling for it.
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