Ted Nutting wrote this piece, which is worth reading, remembering, and passing around the internet:
In the one year that I taught a course for which there was a state end-of-coursetest (Algebra 1 in the 2011-2012 school year), my students scored better than those from any other teacher in the district. I have the data to prove all this. Why did this happen? I broke the rules and taught real math. In calculus, I used a textbook more aligned with real teaching than the book I was supposed to be using. In algebra, not having an alternative textbook, I made up my own worksheets to accompany the lessons I gave. I actually taught. I presented the material, asking questions frequently to keep students’ attention, and I gave difficult quizzes and tests. I demanded good performance — and the results were excellent.