According to a research project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation a great teacher, "[c]an make a dramatic difference in the lives of low-income students." Gates spokesperson Stacey Scott elaborated on the project's findings, "We are pleased to self-satisfactorily declare that uber-educators can make so great a difference in the lives of their students that all daily stresses such as low-paying unstable jobs, inadequate dental, vision and medical care, classism, predatory lending practices, underfunded retirement, inaccessible child care and neighborhood environmental exploitation are practically eliminated."
Mrs. Wilcox, whose thirteen-year-old daughter attends Jeb Bush Middle School in Tampa, Florida agrees, "Before my daughter got her new teacher she had lots of problems. But ever since Miss Cary got here, with her five weeks of enthusiastic training, my daughter doesn't worry about my being unemployed. She waves at the slumlord, even though he hasn't removed the lead paint from the hallway. She scoots by the crack addicts and ignores the rats, bed bugs and roaches. Now that she has Ms. Cary, all her troubles seem to have melted away."
Other people were less enthusiastic about the proclamation. "Not sure any teacher can solve my problems," responded fifteen-year-old Luis Martinez of Bedford Stuyvesant. "I've had a lot of great teachers but I don't see no difference. I sure would like to though because a lot of the time I'm hungry and my moms needs her diabetes medication, my dad hasn't worked in two years and my older brother wants me to join his gang. What's a teacher going to do about that?"
Interested in how we came to write this? Read What Happens When Profits Drive Reform and Response to Anthony Cody: The Role of the Marketplace in Education and You Can't Wish It Away