According to the Education Reform organization handbook the most important factor in a child's academic development is not poverty, nor is it the dysfunctional family environment, and it certainly it's not the social-economic conditions affecting the child, its the quality of the teacher the child has in school. You might laugh at this ridiculous assumption but when these Education Reformers actually gain control of the school system their "talk to talk" fails to "walk the walk" when it comes to providing a "quality teacher in every classroom".
A prime example of how the education reformers talk out of both sides of their mouths is when reformer heavyweights Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein gained complete control of the New York City Public School System. This was their chance to show that by putting "quality teachers in every classroom" will result in a narrowing of the income/racial academic achievement gap and raising educational standards. In other words, its time to "walk the walk". Unfortunately, given the opportunity to "do the right thing" and put a "quality teacher in every classroom", instead they did the exact opposite and implemented an "education on the cheap" policy. The New York City School System under these two "heavyweight education reformers"encouraged schools to hire the "cheapest" and not the "best" teachers. Is it any wonder that during the entire tenure of these two education reformers that the academic achievement of the New York City Public School students has remained flat and the academic achievement gap has actually widened!
Yet, the Bloomberg Administration will falsely claim that they are hiring "highly qualified teachers" That's because under the Obama Administration, led by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan they provided waivers under "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) that exempted schools from hiring "quality teachers". Under NCLB all schools should have teacher equality and all teachers must be "highly qualified". To NCLB a "highly qualified teacher" is a teacher that is fully credentialed, has expertise in their subject matter, and is experienced. Just the opposite that the Teach For America's "two year wonders" or the "one and done" Teaching Fellows brings to the schools. However, New York City, like many other school districts across the country took advantage and were given waivers that allowed the school districts to hire "newbie" and alternate certification teachers in mass and fool the parents and subject their children to inferior teaching by claiming they are hiring "highly qualified teachers".
Unfortunately, for political reasons, the Federal Department of Education has "dragged their feet" in showing if teacher equality has been abused by the waivers granted. To date there are no statistics on the distribution of "newbie" and teachers in training (Teach For America) instructors in the schools that they are required to do by Congress. However, California did provide a study that showed that schools with a poor and minority population have twice the number of teacher in training and other alternate certification instructors leading a classroom when compared to other schools.