Since I entered teaching, I have fought to change the status quo that routinely delivers dysfunctional schools and low-quality teaching to students of color in low-income communities. I have challenged inequalities in financing. I have helped develop new school models through both district-led innovations and charters. And I have worked to create higher standards for both students and teachers, along with assessments that measure critical thinking and performance.
I sought to amend and reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act to incorporate these kinds of assessments, while preserving its commitment to closing the achievement gap and ensuring quality teachers. I have also fought to overhaul teacher education programs and close weak ones.
As director of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, I was an early advocate for cultivating and rewarding excellent teachers while dismissing those who, with mentoring, do not meet standards.
Real reform will require all of these things, plus the kind of unifying vision Barack Obama has demonstrated - moving beyond the polarizing debates that prevent
The state-sponsored study, led by researcher Dr. George Noell of Louisiana State University, uses a "value-added" model to measure the effect that teachers from the state's preparation programs have on student achievement. ??The study examined seven programs, including both university-based certification pathways and alternate routes to teacher certification such as TNTP's program.?? Each was given a performance rating based on an "effect estimate" of the teachers they produce.
TNTP's Louisiana Practitioner Teacher Program earned especially strong results in the preparation of effective math teachers, with a mathematics effect estimate of 3.1.????This effect estimate is greater than the average degree to which poor students typically fall further behind each year in achievement. "In the year that new TNTP teachers teach poor students, they, on average, help those students close the math academic gap with more economically advantaged students," said Dr. Noell. This is
Peter Edelman urges us to fight poverty. We're a wealthy nation, after all. Doug Besharov points out that the best way to fight poverty is through better education. And we ought to learn what works best under what conditions. So if there's not enough money for everything, let's spend money wisely, do solid research,??and learn something from it.
Joel Packer of the NEA wants to know if we should expand the idea of accountability under NCLB. For example, should schools and social services agencies be held accountable for making sure kids get their asthma medicine?
Gene Hickok came back with a smack. "It shouldn't take an act of Congress to make sure schools are dealing with their own problems....that's not self-governance, folks."
Mike Smith just mentioned that his wife is the principal of a high-poverty charter school. Peter Edelman already mentioned that his son* works on charter school issues for Arne Duncan. Is it just me or is working in a charter school the new badge of a true progressive? Hooray for charter schools!
* Said son previously worked at the SEED charter school, a public boarding school in Washington, DC.
So some friends of mine asked me why we didn't pit the "broader/bolder" folks against the "educational equity" folks. You know, an intra-Democratic party brawl? The real answer was that we were worried that it would turn into a non-debate. Everyone would agree that we should both fight the war on poverty AND work on school reform. We thought by pitching liberals against conservatives we'd get a sharper distinction.