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.
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?