May 10, 2011

Our Most Valued Asset


Since January 5th 2010, Esteban Bullrich has been the Minister of Education of the City of Buenos Aires. Among other positions previously held, he was Minister of Social Development of the City of Buenos Aires, a National Congressman, and a Parliamentary Advisor. Minister Bullrich holds a graduate degree from the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University. He is married and has three children.
The importance of having well trained teachers who are passionate about their jobs and are effective in instructing children is widely known. A study published by McKinsey in 2007 shows that student performance is strongly linked to the successful recruitment, training, and support provided to teachers in the classroom.
In Buenos Aires we value very highly the efforts made by our teachers every day to empower students to become the future leaders of our country. We provide all our teachers with proper training, and we are working hard to establish evaluation systems that ensure our teachers are fairly and consistently evaluated. We hope these evaluations will allow us to identify and reward those teachers that are excelling at improving student performance and will provide necessary assistance to educators who need help.
An important part of developing a highly effective teacher base is recruiting academically strong individuals to pursue careers in teaching. To help achieve, this we have implemented the "Se Maestro" (Be a Teacher) campaign. In this campaign, rather than focusing on benefits and salaries, we focus on the social aspect of teaching. We are encouraging young men and women to support our students and our city's future, thereby establishing themselves as critical pillars of our society. Along with this campaign, we are continuously working to strengthen the social prestige of teachers in Buenos Aires by providing them with constant training, fair salaries, job stability and good work conditions.
As part of our effort to measure, evaluate, reward, and help teachers, we recently carried out a pilot test of a teacher evaluation program that we called "My best class." This is a program that is carried out differently than other evaluations that have been traditionally carried out in Buenos Aires in hopes of learning more about teachers' needs and providing help. Holding frequent and effective teacher evaluations is of extreme importance, as it is the only way we can identify where our teachers are lagging and figure out how to help them improve.
Teachers are the cornerstone of our education system. Because the future of our country in an increasingly competitive world depends on them, we place the highest importance on providing them with the resources they need to improve their skills.

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