In a nod toward the idea that teaching isn’t seen as a prestigious career, the program is called RESPECT, an acronym for Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence, and Collaborative Teaching. To receive funding, states and districts would have to collaborate with teachers, unions, schools of education, and other stakeholders to reform the field of teaching.
“Our goal is to work with teachers and principals in rebuilding their profession and to elevate the teacher voice in federal, state, and local education policy. Our larger goal is to make teaching not only America’s most important profession, but also America’s most respected profession,” Duncan said.
The administration’s proposal builds on President Obama’s State of the Union speech when he said: “Give [schools] the resources to keep good teachers on the job, and reward the best ones. In return, grant schools flexibility: To teach with creativity and passion; to stop teaching to the test; and to replace teachers who just aren’t helping kids learn. That’s a bargain worth making.”
For more news about teacher quality, see:
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Details of the program will be developed through budget negotiations with Congress and the competition process itself, but the proposal considers a broad range of reforms, an Education Department press release said, including:
• Reforming teacher colleges and making them more selective.
• Creating new career ladders for teachers.
• Linking earnings more closely to performance, rather than simply longevity or credentials.
• Compensating teachers for working in challenging learning environments.
• Making teacher salaries more competitive with other professions.
• Improving professional development and providing time for collaboration.
• Providing teachers with greater autonomy in exchange for greater accountability.
• Building evaluation systems based on multiple measures, not just test scores.
• Reforming tenure to raise the bar, protect good teachers, and promote accountability.