You are so smart… why did you become a teacher? – C. Corbett Burris

Corbett Burris, Carol. (2012, February 19.) “You are so smart… why did you become a teacher?” Via The Answer Sheet.  Retrieved from:

The author, a principal in NYC, writes about three scenarios in her school where great teachers, evaluated as “effective” in each of the three categories in the NYS evaluation system would overall be ranked as “ineffective” and lose their job.

With the above scenarios I am not creating fiction, I am describing the future — one in which children lose great teachers. The reason the above “band” system is so flawed is because of the obsession of Albany with test scores.

Our state’s rule-makers wanted to design a system in which the teachers whose students’ scores are in the lowest ten percent could under no circumstances be anything other than ineffective. It created a ludicrous system where teachers who are effective across the board can be rated ineffective overall.

One of my finest teachers was near tears the other day. Her student had asked her, “You are so smart…why did you become a teacher?” Within the context of this teacher-bashing climate, that remark was just too much to bear, and I hugged her as she cried. Less than a mile away, her Governor had thumped on a podium at Molloy College saying “if they want the money, perform” as though she and her colleagues were trained seals.


About dublinea
President - Dublin Educators' Association

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