Who is the Worthy Teacher?

Students grill teaching applicants

It isn't the most exciting of student fantasies, but it's a student fantasy come true, nonetheless, at Chicago's Fenger High School: Teachers and administrators who want to work there have to interview for their jobs with the students they would lead.

"[S]tudents are grilling them, either speed dating style or with questions fashioned after the game show Jeopardy," Catalyst reports.

"Students have identified five issues they want to hear candidates respond to: violence, security; their vision for the new Fenger; their education philosophy and strategies for classroom management," Catalyst reports. "They have also written skits that they will perform and ask candidates how they would handle those situations. After each interview, students share their impressions with one member of the turnaround team."

Fenger has been on probation for 13 years and is now a "turnaround" school. "Board officials said virtually none of Fenger's students meet state averages, let alone exceed them, and said repeated efforts to improve test scores have failed," WBBM reported last month.

Fenger's website says the school is one of 14 chosen to be part of an Instructional Development System pilot program funded by the Gates Foundation.

"This program will restructure our high school curriculum over the next four years; however, this year it will begin by restructuring only our freshmen English, Math, and Science courses," the site says.

Now with student-approved teachers.

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