Is it better to be lucky than to be good? It is an age old question, and while hotly
debated it has never been fully decided. Clearly there are times when luck can give you an edge: a hot goalie in a 7 game playoff series, flies swarming the opposing pitcher when he’s been virtually unhittable, or leaving your house late and missing a car accident on the freeway. But there are also times when being good would be preferable: playing in a piano recital, operating on a heart attack victim, climbing the vertical face of El Capitan. Personally when I decide which carpenter is going to fix my roof, I’m going to pick the good one not the lucky one.
What is not debated is that to some degree luck has a hand in many facets of our lives. In his book Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell discusses, among other things, how luck has played a role in our education system. The quality of education that our students receive has been influenced by accidental talent influxes in the past. One particularly poignant example occurred during The Great Depression when a cohort of teachers with unprecedented talent entered the public school system due to lack of secure jobs elsewhere. Through the decades that followed the salary gap for females in the rest
of the working world meant that talented women continued to find their way into the classroom. Better Teachers = Better Education and Better Education = Better Prepared Students, and what country wouldn’t want that?
But here’s the thing.
Why are we relying on luck for this? Why do we depend on accidental influxes? Shouldn’t we have a better plan? I mean these are the teachers of our children. Shouldn’t we be actively recruiting the best and the brightest?
We think so and that’s what we will do. A good education provided by a first rate teacher shouldn’t be an accident it should be a requirement. So let’s bring the best and
the brightest into the classrooms of our country and then let’s give them a reason to stay there.