Teachers

In just more than five years, Mary Anne Stanton has led 13 Catholic schools from high-poverty Washington, D.C. neighborhoods into a consortium that has not only strengthened each school's financial health, but has also greatly improved the academic performance of the children the schools are charged with educating. To get there, she's installed a new standards-based curriculum, shaken up old bureaucratic approaches, and streamlined operations. In its latest Fwd: Arresting Insights in Education, the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation presents a compelling story of just how much change can be made by one determined school leader with a vision.
Does it matter where public-school teachers send their own children to school? If so, how and why? What can we learn from them?
This report, published jointly by the Fordham Institute and The Broad Foundation, contends that American public education faces a 'crisis in leadership' that cannot be alleviated from traditional sources of school principals and superintendents. Its signers do not believe this crisis can be fixed by conventional strategies for preparing, certifying and employing education leaders. Instead, they urge that first-rate leaders be sought outside the education field, earn salaries on par with their peers in other professions, and gain new authority over school staffing, operations and budgets.
Will the sanctions for failing schools laid out in the politics-governance Act (NCLB) succeed in turning those schools around? This report draws on the results of previous efforts to overhaul failing schools to provide a glimpse at what may be expected from NCLB-style interventions. The results: no intervention strategy has a success rate greater than 50%, so policymakers are urged to consider additional options for children trapped in failing schools.
When schools are held accountable for results and freed from red tape governing personnel decisions, they take advantage of their freedom by adopting innovative strategies for hiring and rewarding teachers, according to this new report by economists Michael Podgursky and Dale Ballou. This study is based on a survey administered to a random sample of 132 public charter schools that have been operating for at least three years.
Why does our system of teacher certification emphasize training in pedagogy rather than subject-matter knowledge? The answer can be found in this report, which traces the emergence of state control over teacher certification. The focus is on efforts by the teacher education establishment to gain monopoly control over the licensing of teachers.
This report explains how New Jersey has implemented high standards for teachers without causing a teacher shortage by creating an alternative certification program.
Most states are beginning to get serious about boosting the quality of their teaching force. Unfortunately, most of the steps they are taking point in the wrong direction. This 'report card' contains plenty of evidence of that fact-together with some happy exceptions and hopeful signs.
According to this 250-page volume, proposed federal and state policies aimed at boosting teacher-quality may well worsen the problem. Instead of adding even more politics-governance to the teacher training system, policymakers should open up the profession to well-educated individuals and should hold principals accountable for student learning.
A policy statement endorsed by governors, chief state school officers, state board members, prominent education thinkers and analysts, and veteran practitioners, which sets forth principles and policies to guide states as they prepare to hire a teaching force for the 21st century.

Pages