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[Susan notes: This is, indeed, an interesting idea. Both sets

of faculty would learn something.]

Published in Washington Post
12/23/2008

To the editor



Every politician and appointee seems to have all

the answers to our public schools problems. It

amazes me how few of these people have actually

taught in those schools.



A challenge to President-elect Barack Obama and

Education Secretary-designate Arne Duncan [front

page, Dec. 17]: Take the entire staff from the

worst-performing D.C. school and swap it with the

one at the best-performing school. Then see what

happens to test scores.



This would be a cheap way to find out whether

school reform is worth everything being invested

in it. If teachers really are the difference,

scores will go up at the bad school and down at

the good one. But I think you will find, as most

teachers already know, that socioeconomic status

affects scores far more than teaching methods.



The writer is a math teacher with the

Department of Defense Education Activity

program.

Robert Shelvock


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