Every Child Deserves a Teacher of the Year*

*Even if that teacher has no experience or credentials

Like you, I need to start each day by consuming a steaming nugget of wisdom from edu-genius Michelle Rhee. That’s how I know that most, if not all, of our nation’s BEST teachers are brand new to the classroom and are free from the burden of unnecessary credentials. So how unfair is it that most states won’t even allow these top teachers to be considered in their annual Teacher of the Year contests? That’s right: at this very moment a state bureaucrat is passing over a newly minted edu-starlet in favor of some LIFO lifer whose only accomplishment (other than being nominated as a top teacher by his or her peers) is hanging on.

We need a campaign to fix this injustice ASAP, and I know just who should lead it.

To: jwilliams@stand.org
From: Your biggest edu-fan

Dear Jason: Every child deserves a Teacher of the Year, wouldn’t you agree? And yet too many of our children are denied the opportunity of being taught by a Teacher of the Year because states like Massachusetts and California refuse to recognize that the BEST teachers often lack experience and credentials. Won’t you take the lead and fix this egregious injustice once and for all?

Your own personal story–your ‘race to the top,’ as I’ve come to think of it–will be essential as we try to roll back these stifling Teacher of the Year regulations. Imagine how inspiring it will be for others in your brand new shoes to hear the story of how you overcame California’s onerous and burdensome requirements that Teacher of the Year nominees have 1) at least 7 years in the classroom and 2) a teaching license. I mean, my God, when will the ceaseless punishment of excellence finally cease?

Naturally we will need to consider legislation to fix this, perhaps using a threatened ballot initiative for leverage. I’ll leave the details up to you and Jonah…


Hat tip to Boston teacher @columwhyte for alerting me to the fact that Williams, a TFA alum, retired from teaching at age 23, unlicensed after a year and 10 months in the classroom.