Are qualified teachers always effective teachers?


For Haynes, the pending reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as NCLB, provides an opportunity to address what she calls “the fundamental misalignment between the current framework for public education in this country and the nation’s educational goals for ensuring that all graduates are prepared for college and careers.”

AEE says key policies to support educator development that should be included in the reauthorization include:

  • Support for state-led adoption and thoughtful implementation of common standards and aligned assessments toward advancing college and career readiness.
  • Creation of standards of practice that define high-quality teaching based on what teachers need to know and be able to do to elicit targeted student performances embodied in common standards and assessments.
  • Development of robust teacher performance assessments that incorporate observational measures of teaching for the purpose of evaluating, developing, and recognizing teacher effectiveness and informing preparation and development.
  • Development of coherent, performance-based human capital systems based on core practices that address career-long professional growth and advancement.
  • Longitudinal data systems to track teacher and student growth data and link teacher and student performance with programs responsible for preparing and providing professional development.

“ESEA reauthorization needs to move the national debate from its focus on how to fix the schools we have, so that we can empower the nation’s educators to create the schools we need,” said Carroll and Doerr. “If ESEA reauthorization remains mired in fruitless fights over how to give low-income students a better industrial-era education, the future is already over.”

However, not all educators believe that ESEA will have the power to change the entire landscape of the teaching profession.

“Until we change the teacher preparation process, lengthen it to include more intern time in the classroom, and involve our best teachers in working with [prospective teachers] rather than professors who are steeped in research and have not been in the classroom, ESEA or any other reform will not be successful,” said Liebman.

Teaching is a profession in which new teachers need to work with mentors over several years, he added.

Carroll and Doerr said that NCTAF agrees with the need for better teacher programs. The organization currently works with eight universities through a program called Teachers Learning in Networked Communities (TLINC), which provides an online platform for pre-service teachers, novice teachers, veteran teachers, and university faculty to work together in online communities.

This teaching residency model also gives teaching candidates a year-long exposure to the classroom where they work with, and learn directly from, a veteran teacher in the school system where they will begin their career.

Links:

“Call for Action: Transforming Teaching and Learning to Prepare High School Students for College and Careers.” (PDF)

Alliance for Excellent Education

National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future

Note to readers:

Don’t forget to visit the Boost Student Achievement with Connected Teaching resource center. Most education technology advocates know that simply placing a piece of equipment in a classroom will not improve teaching or learning. Educators must be confident in the tools they use and in their own ability to enhance instruction with digital media. And for educators to gain that much-needed confidence, they must have support networks and robust, consistent professional development that will hone their teaching and technology skills. Go to:

Boost Student Achievement with Connected Teaching

Meris Stansbury

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