Big Ideas Fest (#bif2010), Day 20 Comments
Big Idea Fest Day 2 - student feedback
Big Ideas Fest - Hole in the Wall0 Comments
George Westinghouse High School teacher and TNLI Fellow, Brent Sackris blogs live from the 2010 Big Idea Fest. Read here about keynote speaker Dr. Sugata Mitra of Newcastle University and his innovative Hole in the Wall computer project.
If you give a teacher performance pay….3 Comments
...ultimately, it doesn’t make a lot of difference, according to a study by researchers at Vanderbilt University. What direction does this point us to in our quest to encourage effective teaching and improve education?
New York (and several other states) were awarded Race to the Top money. Does this money translate to big changes for teachers? Race to the Top changes have the potential to create a more consistent flow of information, encourage effective teaching and leadership and promote student achievement - but it remains to be seen whether it will or not.
How we measure and use effective teachers - making improvements or encouraging uniformity?2 Comments
Last week I received a letter from the DOE advertising two new positions within “transformation” high schools in the city. These positions offer increased pay for increased responsibilities at schools that are struggling and in need of improvement. The caveat is that the teacher only retains his position as long as “he/she maintains a rating of highly effective.” I know there is a new rating system, but to be perfectly honest, I don’t even know what the criteria are. The UFT website provides a Q&A on the rating system which includes more than just observations - test scores, other measures of student achievement, and even peer review. Is offering some teachers more money for work in tougher schools a good thing? Is this rating system a change for the better?
27 states have already adopted national education standards. On Monday, New York State also adopted the standards. As states move forward with adopting national standards, how does this change education? In the end, what do these national standards really mean for teachers, students and schools?
Good teaching is about the small stuff—seating arrangements and phrasing lesson objectives. How does policy affect the day to day life of a public school teacher? How does the day to day life of a public school teacher affect policy?
Race to the Top: What Matters Most?6 Comments
In “The Teachers’ Unions’ Last Stand: How Obama’s Race to the Top Could Revolutionize Public Education,” New York Times Magazine, Steven Brill argues that “what the reformers have come to believe matters most is good teachers.”
Many policy makers and education officials are more interested in how to rid schools of unfit teachers than they are in attracting and retaining good ones. That’s unfortunate because the loss of good teachers, especially in high-poverty schools where they are needed most, poses a far greater threat to teacher quality and student learning than the presence of unfit teachers.
How Perceptions Were Changed in New York7 Comments
Among meeting attendees, the three most important supports – both before and after the meeting – were: Professional Development; Collaboration/Peer Support; and Administrator or other Support for Teachers/Leadership. However, after hearing from our researchers, panelists and keynote speaker, the relative importance among these three categories changed. At the beginning of the day, most people believed that Professional Development was most important, with Collaboration/Peer Support a close second and Administrator or other Support for Teachers/Leadership not far behind. By the end of the day, Collaboration/Peer Support was considered, by far, the most important support needed in order to improve teacher effectiveness. Administrator or other Support for Teachers/Leadership had moved to second place with Professional Development now third, on par with Participation in Teacher Networks and Mentoring/Coaching.
On May 6th, 2010, Teachers Network and the Ford Foundation, through a collaboration and co-sponsorship with Hunter College, held the second in a series of three nationwide events inspired by the survey conducted by Teachers Network—funded by the Ford Foundation—of effective teachers participating in teacher networking communities across the country. The New York gathering offered a unique opportunity to help inform, educate, and advise policymakers, as well as people from virtually all constituencies as to what really needs to happen in order to improve the quality of education throughout our nation’s schools. After both the discussion and the keynote address, the floor was opened to questions and comments from the audience about what structures and supports are needed to advance teaching quality. What do you think are important factors in advancing teaching quality?
Diane Ravitch & Race to the Top…12 Comments
Over time, Diane Ravitch has changed course on some of her past held opinions and discusses these ideas in this short article, “The Big Idea—It’s Bad Educational Policy”, as well as in her new book(i.e. The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and School Choice are Undermining Education). In her recent article, she dicusses her opinions on the Obama administration’s school reform program, Race to the Top. What position is your state taking in regard to Race to the Top? Do you believe it is the right choice?
How Should We Evaluate Teachers?6 Comments
We talk a lot about effective teachers on this site and in the national education conversation. This begs the question: how can effective teaching truly be identified? What makes an “effective” teacher? How should teachers be evaluated? Dennis Van Roekel, President of the NEA, recently talked to John Merrow about his ideas. What are your thoughts on teacher evaluation? How do you think effective teaching should be measured?
Morning Joe’s Education Forum2 Comments
Last week, on March 25, 2010, Joe Scarborough and friends presented an education forum called “Great Expectations” on his MSNBC talk show, Morning Joe. The show was filmed on site at Alexander Elementary School, in Tampa, Florida, a diverse school notable for high test scores. While questions from the audience (which included local teachers and administrators) were taken for a short period at the end of the show, this panel did not include a single educator.
Did you watch the show? What did you think?
At the conclusion of our March 2, 2010 Convening in Los Angeles, we asked participants: “After reading, listening and talking with your colleagues, in what ways have your perceptions changed about what is most needed to improve teaching effectiveness?”
Los Angeles Convening Recap2 Comments
On March 2nd, 2010, in Los Angeles, Teachers Network and the Ford Foundation co-hosted a conversation with the Cotsen Family Foundation, the Stuart Foundation, and the Los Angeles Education Partnership. The conversation was inspired by the survey conducted by Teachers Network—funded by the Ford Foundation—asking why competent and effective teachers stay or leave the profession. Then, the conversation continued in L.A. to build on the survey information and ask, “What will it really take to make sure every child has an effective teacher?”
And the Survey Says…5 Comments
Effective teaching is the key to student achievement, but how do you keep those effective teachers in the classroom?
Teachers Network is pleased to share the results of the groundbreaking survey, “What Keeps Effective Teachers in the Classroom,” funded by the Ford Foundation, in partnership with The Center for Teaching Quality and WestEd. The study focused on two primary areas: 1) what keeps quality teachers in the classroom as opposed to what makes them leave, and 2) the contribution of teacher networks to quality teacher development and retention.