A Country Where Teachers Have a Voice
Should we give much more control of our schools to our teachers/principals?
Thought-provoking article in Atlantic describing the Dutch school system. In a 2011 OECD analysis, Dutch schools reported the second-highest amount of autonomy in the world in picking tests and teaching materials.
The entire Dutch school system functions like 8,000 charter schools.
- There are 8,000 Dutch primary and secondary schools.
- 60% of these schools are private, with a religious affiliation.
- All these schools are publicly funded.
- Dutch parents choose which school to send their children.
- Tax dollars follow the children - even to the private religious schools.
While the Dutch national government sets standards (similar to our Common Core) that dictate what a student should have learned by the end of primary and secondary school, in the Netherlands teacher autonomy is a crucial part of the education-reform discussion.
Individual school principals have complete control over their school's budget, class size, extracurricular programs, and teacher evaluations. For example, principals can opt to have two classes of 15 second-graders each or to have one class of 30 and hire an art teacher.