1. 44% of Philadelphia teachers leave within the first five years of their career. Thus our teaching staff changes by virtually half every five years. In the 17 years I've been teaching that means the turnover has occurred 3 times, yet we still blame teachers. Who keeps hiring these bad teachers anyway?
2. Researchers have demonstrated turnarounds like the Promise Academy work one in five times. Not a good enough batting average to keep one in the major leagues. Look at Potter Thomas. Last year 550 kids, this year 400 kids. Where did these 150 children go and how has that affected the school? Look at the Dodge School in Chicago, Arne Duncan's turn around model. He moved the kids out of that school, sent them to places that had little problems with violence and bingo, one of those schools made the news last year for frequent gang fights and a violent murder. Remember? In the mean time Duncan talks about how changing the teachers made a difference.
3. Our teachers in Philadelphia come from the same universities as the teachers in the suburbs. Do people believe Penn, Temple, St. Joe's, Chestnut Hill, Holy Family, etc can't train teachers adequately? Why don't their graduates fail everywhere instead of just here?
Blaming the teachers is like blaming the pediatrician because a child is sick. When the city of Philadelphia begins to listen to its teachers whose hearts are in the right place, whose egos are in balance, then true school improvement will happen.