How Mrs. Grady Transformed Olly Neal
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF, New York Times
Published: January 21, 2012
“IF you want to understand how great teachers transform lives, listen to the story of Olly Neal.
A recent study showed how a great elementary schoolteacher can raise the lifetime earnings of a single class by $700,000. After I wrote about the study, skeptics of school reform wrote me to say: sure, a great teacher can make a difference in the right setting, but not with troubled, surly kids in a high-poverty environment. If you think that, or if you scoff at the statistics, then listen to Neal.
In the late 1950s, Olly Neal was a poor black kid with an attitude. He was one of 13 brothers and sisters in a house with no electricity, and his father was a…”