SC teachers deserve big ideas and bold solutions

May 10, 2019

Ellen Weaver

Former President & CEO

Dr. Francis McMann. Graduate of the famed University of Chicago school of economics. John Wayne movie aficionado. And the public high school teacher whose AP U.S. History and Economics classes shaped my life and put me on the path to doing the work I love here at Palmetto Promise.

Many of us have a story of that special teacher that went the extra mile and poured their love of learning into us.

Great teachers are the lifeblood of a good education. And as we’ve heard loud and clear in recent weeks, the same one-size-fits-all system that is failing too many of our students is currently failing too many of our teachers too.

That’s why we are fighting for big ideas and bold solutions like overhauling our broken education funding formula and creating Education Scholarship Accounts that will help get dollars out of broken bureaucracy and back into classrooms.

Our goal is to create new hope and opportunity for every student and unleash every teacher to be the CEO of their classroom.

But to make that happen, educators, parents, and policy makers have to move beyond the tired “more money will fix it” mantra to real reforms, especially harnessing the power of competition to improve public education through education choice.

Tori Bell, a policy analyst at the Foundation for Excellence in Education, recently summed it up well:

In a choice environment that offers robust and varied school options, teachers gain more autonomy to pick and choose schools that share their cultures, values, focus and preferred methods of teaching. Much like a parent choosing the best educational fit for their child – a teacher can choose the best fit for their expertise and teaching style. Under these circumstances, I believe teachers can be more creative and entrepreneurial in their teaching methods and, consequently, happier doing their job.

Breaking out of old ways of thinking is difficult. But the reward is worth it: empowered teachers and successful students.