Zip codes should not determine the quality of a child’s education. B4K’s core belief is that all students, regardless of where they live, deserve the same high quality teachers and instruction, and the same opportunity for a successful future.
The importance of great teachers
Teaching is arguably one of the single most important professions in the world. A significant body of research confirms how much teachers matter and great teachers can and do, change kids’ lives for the better. Not only do highly effective teachers produce significant and lasting improvement in students’ academic performance, but they also influence their life outcomes as well. Students assigned to effective teachers are more likely to attend college, earn higher salaries, live in better neighborhoods, and less likely to be incarcerated or become pregnant under the age of 18. Please see here and here for a discussion of these groundbreaking studies as well as Nick Kristoff’s excellent op-ed on the subject in the New York Times here.
Because great teachers are so critical in driving student outcomes, New Jersey needs more of them. In 2012, New Jersey’s made great strides in its commitment to the teaching profession by passing a teacher evaluation law, known as TEACHNJ, provides for a new system that measures teacher performance by multiple measures, including how well students are learning. TEACHNJ requires differentiated ratings for teachers thus helping to identify excellent teachers and the teaching practices that work. It also focuses on those that need help and ties professional development to help teachers improve their practice. If, after being given additional support and a reasonable opportunity to improve, a teacher continues to be ineffective, TEACHNJ requires that the ineffective teacher is replaced with an effective one.