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Opinion: To improve U.S. education, it’s time to treat teachers as professionals

“What are the right incentives to have in place for teachers?” The very question itself is jarring, says Howard Gardner, Harvard Graduate School of Education professor for the Washington Post. It implies that teachers don’t want to perform well and that they need incentives, which in today’s parlance translates into rewards (money) and reprimands (fear of loss of benefits or position). Let me present a very different picture: Teachers should be regarded as and behave like professionals. A professional is a certified expert who is afforded prestige and autonomy in return for performing at a high level, which includes making complex and disinterested judgments under conditions of uncertainty…

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