In this collection of essays, Education Sector asked commentators to address a set of dilemmas facing the nation in the current reform moment. Bryan Hassel and Emily Ayscue Hassel tackled one: Will the Common Core and new teacher evaluation systems strangle innovation? These reforms, they argue, would have been perfectly timed for 1962, with 50 years ahead of seat time-based grade levels and a one-teacher-one-classroom staffing model. But what about now, when the combination of new staffing models and digital learning has huge potential to transform everything? Will the Common Core and individual teacher evaluation hold us back exactly when we could be surging ahead? Not necessarily, the Hassels argue. But to sidestep that trap, states need to think of the new systems as iterations, not final destinations; leave space for innovation in new schools; and create much more powerful incentives for excellence. See essay #IV in the collection, here.
As evidence continues to pile up about the central importance of effective teaching, states nationwide are rethinking how they define and measure the effects individual teachers have on educational outcomes.
In this slide deck, Public Impact sets out some guiding principles for states entering this design process, including:
- defining a teacher’s “effect” as the product of her level of effectiveness and her reach: the number of students she affects;
- defining teacher effectiveness based on student learning outcomes and behaviors linked to outcomes;
- using rigorous research about top teachers – not focus groups or expert opinion – to determine what behaviors to include in the definition; and
- examining deeper competencies – such as achievement orientation – not just more easily observable teacher behaviors.
The job of “teacher” in most schools today remains centered on full-time classroom responsibilities that are defined by the location, timing, and schedule of the school day and a one-teacher-per-classroom model. But particularly in today’s budget climate, interest in quality-focused job redesigns is increasing among forward-thinking state, district, and charter school leaders. In this report, prepared by Julie Kowal and Dana Brinson for the Center for American Progress, we profile two organizations—the Rocketship Education network of charter schools and the Fairfax County, VA school district— that have redesigned the job of teacher to provide new types of leadership opportunities and let great teachers reach larger numbers of students. A brief presentation, prepared for the Joyce Foundation, outlines key findings. [Read more…]