This story also ran in the May 2012 issue of San Diego Magazine.
School superintendents across America are talking tough. The time has come, they say, to get rid of failing teachers, or at the very least to identify them so that weaker teachers can get help to become more effective. No longer should students suffer the ignominy of an educator who isn’t interested, willing, or able to make them learn.
For decades, schools have relied on a principal passing through a classroom once a year or every few years to eyeball how a teacher is doing. Today districts across the country say there’s another way.