Executive Summary

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Literacy and Academic Success

There is a disconnect between the skills and knowledge children acquire in P-12 schooling and the skills and knowledge children need to succeed in college. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently highlighted this disconnect:[1]

Teacher Evaluation: Don’t Forget the Science Fairs

My middle school scientists just rocked their science fair. They worked hard and I am deeply inspired by and proud of their results. I teach in Manhattan at a traditional public middle school. My students are 100 percent Latino, 95 percent free lunch, 33 percent English Language Learners and 26 percent Special Education. As part of the high expectations we set for our students, Science Fair participation is a requirement for every student.

 

Teacher Development Should Not Be a Luxury—It Is a Must

Teachers and principals from across the country were recently asked what they thought were the greatest challenges facing the teaching profession.

 

Standardized Tests: The Good, the Bad, and the Very Ugly

Standardized testing is one of the most passionately debated education topics in America. As a veteran teacher with more than 20 years of teaching experience in Missouri and Florida, I say with confidence, my fellow teachers and I are not afraid of evaluation based in part on our students’ performance.

Our purpose is to ensure that our students are successful in school and life. However, we object to the thought that students’ performance on a single test alone is a valid measure of what they have learned or how well we have taught them.

Teacher Evaluation + Common Core = Professional Ownership Incentive

While much attention and support are properly directed at teacher evaluation reform efforts across states, the time is here to identify the “why” and the “so what.” I write to focus on the “so what,” but will set the table by first sharing my view on the “why.” The premise is that once the table is properly set, teachers will see ownership opportunity of sitting at the table and driving the “so what.”  Teachers do this every day in their classrooms, and they deserve an evaluation tool that specifically supports their craft when evaluation results are identified.  That ownership opportunity has the potential for great implications as an incentive.

Teachers: leaders in the classroom, leaders in the community

A few weeks ago, I had an incredible experience with teachers off the coast of New Jersey. After Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeast, thousands of homes were destroyed and thousands more families and children were displaced. In the midst of tragedy, devastation, and lack of organized direction, hope began to blossom as a few teachers stepped in to help.

Measuring Student Growth Means More Than Measuring Student Growth

In most states across the country, work is underway to incorporate student growth measures into a teacher’s evaluation.  In concept, it’s hard to argue that this shouldn’t happen.  In application, it’s understandably complicated and, many times, controversial.   To bring a different light to this work, I’d like to turn our collective attention to an important, but possibly unintended, positive outcome from the effort.  It spotlights the value and necessity of teacher voice.  It also shows that teacher voice can take many forms and have many functions.  Teacher voice is one of the fundament

The Federal Government and Teacher Evaluation

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