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Joharys Gonzalez
Professor. Chatellier
English 121
9/25/13

Measures to Improve Schools
In the op-ed piece “Our schools must Do Better” Herbert brilliantly states that teacher quality and/or effectiveness is not adequately gauged by certification. Indeed, Herbert was onto something when he said “teacher certification has very little to do with whatever it is that makes good teachers effective”. While this idea is vaguely explored by Herbert, it has promising grounds, which could yield significant results in improving schools. The concern, however, should firstly be directed to improving teacher effectiveness which gradually will translate into student success in classrooms. After all, learning is more arduous without competent educators, mitigating the challenge of comprehending. Chiefly, effective learning is not the result of teaching certification but of mutual feedback between teacher and student. In order to achieve an influx of learning in classrooms across the US we must meticulously examine what best stimulates comprehension. Teachers should not be held solely accountable for classroom success just as students should not be held solely accountable for learning. It is only the equilibrium of the two that can usher in an educational reform that achieves satisfactory student performance. In the long run, one can give horse water but that in no way ensures it will drink it. Similarly, teachers can pour their soul into instructional time, but if students only passively listen, their efforts are in vain. Nevertheless, this priceless commodity of “water” and/or learning should be served on the educational platter every school day; regardless if students digest it or not. With this in mind, it is only a matter of waiting for the “horse” to drink and invigorate itself. Public school systems will undoubtedly flourish if more demand is placed on the student to actively engage in class and not just passively...