1. If our best principals were at our worst schools, would students benefit?
2. If our best teachers were at our worst schools, would students benefit?
These are fantastic, thought provoking questions. It gets to the nexus question of "why do schools/students fail?" Is it the teachers? Is it the students? Is it the community? Is it poverty? Yes. (All of them)
Let's focus on the teacher and principal question. What makes a good teacher? Is it the hard test results? Is it growth? I'd argue growth is a better indicator because then you can see what impact the teacher has had on particular students, but what makes a teacher "the best" isn't quantifiable. The ability to connect, move, motivate, and inspire students is what our students need. Can someone show me an indicator that accurately reflects that? Can someone science me up a graph or something that can show me inspiration? If a kid gets their shit together over night is that a credit to him, his parents, is teacher from this year, last year's teacher, or his district representative? The answer is that all of this stuff flows together and they are pieces of the same puzzle: education.
Will moving around teachers fix things? Can you force a square peg through a round hole? Do cucumbers taste better pickled? I have no idea. This is my stream of confused consciousness around this question, but I do know one thing for sure: success at one school does NOT automatically translate to success at another. More on that later today.