Finding a Better Way to Recruit, Prepare, and Retain Good Teachers
This past week both the Washington Post and CNN posted stories on Teach for America (TFA). Since its inception in 1990, TFA has done a great deal of important work to recruit elite universities’ graduates, entice them to teach in the most underserved communities, and encourage them to bring energy and commitment to school reform. Last year, 17,000 college graduates applied for the program, including 12 percent of Yale’s graduating seniors. Only one in eight TFA applicants was selected for the program. With our nation’s public schools needing to hire 200,000 new teachers annually, why not TFA?However, TFA’s five-week crash preparation program and its two-year enlistment commitment do not work in the long-term interest of the children. Because of its truncated training regime, TFA recruits do not learn much about teaching literacy, developing and using new assessments, and working with students whose first language is not English.
Read the rest here.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Schools Pinched In Hiring
Teacher Shortage Looms As Law Raises Bar and Boomer Women Retire
Sunday, June 24, 2007; Page A01
As hundreds of thousands of baby boomers retire and the No Child Left Behind law raises standards for new teachers, school systems across the country are facing a growing scarcity of qualified recruits.
A labor force that for generations cushioned teacher shortages and kept salaries relatively low is disappearing. Three-quarters of the nation's more than 3 million public school teachers are women, a figure that has changed little over four decades. But in that time, women have become more educated, with more career choices than ever. So far, schools are not faring well on the open market.
Friday, June 22, 2007
From Education Week, June 20, 2007By Alyson Klein
Senate Panel OKs Higher Education Bills Aimed at Boosting Teacher Preparation, College Access
The Senate education committee today approved sweeping bills aimed at encouraging colleges to partner with struggling school districts to provide extensive classroom experience for prospective teachers, and boosting college access for disadvantaged students.
The teacher-training provision, part of a broad, long-awaited measure reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, would combine the three current grant programs that help states and universities prepare and recruit K-12 teachers into a single initiative that would enable colleges to collaborate with high-need districts.
Under the legislation, which the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee approved on a bipartisan vote of 20-0, colleges and districts would receive grants to enable master’s degree students to spend one year working alongside effective mentor teachers in high-need schools while the students took their graduate-level education courses.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
2,300 schools face 'No Child' overhaul
By NANCY ZUCKERBROD, AP Education Writer Wed Jun 20
NEW YORK - The scarlet letter in education these days is an "R." It stands for restructuring — the purgatory that schools are pushed into if they fail to meet testing goals for six straight years under the No Child Left Behind law.
Nationwide, about 2,300 schools are either in restructuring or are a year away and planning for such drastic action as firing the principal and moving many of the teachers, according to a database provided to The Associated Press by the Education Department. Those schools are being warily eyed by educators elsewhere as the law's consequences begin to hit home.
Read the rest here.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
2007 CEE ELECTIONS
CEE Executive Committee (four-year terms)
Gina DeBlase, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
Marshall A. George, Fordham University, New York, New York
Alleen Pace Nilsen, Arizona State University, Tempe
2007-2008 CEE Nominating Committee
*Ken Lindblom, State University of New York Stony Brook
Lisa Schade Eckert, Montana State University, Bozeman
Crag Hill, Moscow High School, Moscow, Idaho
Melanie Shoffner, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana
Sharilyn Steadman, Florida State University, Tallahassee
Congratulations to all.
Do Ask, Do Tell
What's professional about taking social justice and sexual orientation out of classrooms?
By Therese Quinn and Erica Meiners
In the fall of 2006, the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) solicited feedback on proposed revisions to its "Professional Standards, 2002 Edition." The organization responsible for accrediting colleges and programs for teacher education wanted to erase the phrase "social justice" and facilitate the de facto elimination of sexual orientation through the addition of various phrases and qualifiers.
While NCATE's deletion of social justice was clear and outright, the way it has marginalized sexual orientation is more complicated, or perhaps just really sneaky. Sexual orientation is included in the Standards' glossary definition of diversity, but the 2006 revisions added this text to the definition: "The types of diversity necessary for addressing the elements on candidate interactions with diverse faculty, candidates, and pre-K–12 students are stated in the rubrics for those elements."
Read the rest here.
Friday, June 08, 2007
House Panel Votes to Slash 'Reading First' Aid
By David J. Hoff
House Democrats want to put their own stamp on federal education spending by increasing Title I and other programs they favor and slashing Reading First and other priorities set by President Bush.
In the $56 billion fiscal 2008 spending bill for the Department of Education unveiled by the Democrats, No Child Left Behind Act programs would receive a $2 billion increase, with the Title I program for disadvantaged students receiving $1.5 billion of that.
But the $1.03 billion Reading First program—which the Bush administration points to as one of its biggest accomplishments under the NCLB law—would take a cut of $630 million, or 61 percent. What’s more, the administration’s latest proposals for private school vouchers and new mathematics programs would not be funded at all.
Read the rest here (registration required).
What’s the significance of this shift in terminology? Achievement gap is all about measurable “outputs”—standardized-test scores—and not about equalizing resources, addressing poverty, combating segregation, or guaranteeing children an opportunity to learn. The No Child Left Behind Act is silent on such matters. Dropping equal educational opportunity, which highlights the role of inputs, has a subtle but powerful effect on how we think about accountability. It shifts the entire burden of reform from legislators and policymakers to teachers and kids and schools.
By implication, educators are the obstacle to change. Every mandate of No Child Left Behind—and there are hundreds—is designed to force the people who run our schools to shape up, work harder, raise expectations, and stop “making excuses” for low test scores, or face the consequences. Despite the law’s oft-stated reverence for “scientifically based research,” this narrow approach is contradicted by numerous studies documenting the importance of social and economic factors in children’s academic progress. Yet it has the advantage of enabling politicians to ignore the difficult issues and avoid costly remedies. If educators are the obstacle, there’s no need to address what Jonathan Kozol calls the “savage inequalities” of our educational system and our society.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Thanks to Les Burns for this photo of Friday's panel (Peter Smagorinsky, Cathy Fleischer, David Stewart, and Ernest Morrell) seated beneath a sunlit dove at the Summit. I'll send a free book to whoever comes up with the best (funniest, cleverest) caption.
Monday, June 04, 2007
So what do you think about CEE as a name for the organization? Change it or keep it the same or . . . ?