Check out our Facebook album, “2012 Labor Management Conference,” to see photos from the event.
Chalkboard is honored to have been invited by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to present at the second Labor Management Conference this week in Cincinnati. Teachers, administrators and a school board member are part of our team showcasing the CLASS Project.
The conference kicked-off with seven people signing a document, including top leaders of the National Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Association of School Administrators, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National School Boards Association, the Council of the Great City Schools, and the U.S. Department of Education. In other words, all the major players in public education.
The document is titled, Transforming the Teaching Profession. It identifies the core elements of a transformed profession that will achieve high levels of student achievement, increased equity, and increased global competitiveness.
Here are some excerpts:
• In a professional culture, teachers and principals together make the primary decisions…with student learning at the center of all such decisions.
• Attracting a high-performing and diverse pool of talented individuals to become teachers and principals is a critical priority…whether they enter the profession through traditional or alternative pathways.
• We must support programs that prepare highly effective educators and offer high quality and substantive curricula and clinical preparation experiences.
• Effective teachers and principals are career-long learners. Effective schools and districts are learning communities where teachers and principals individually and collaboratively continuously reflect on and improve their practice. Such communities of practice thrive when there is structured time for collaborative work informed by a rich array of data and access to internal and external expertise.
• Good evaluation systems should provide feedback to educators from both colleagues and supervisors that is meaningful, credible, and actionable, and should use evidence-based processes that are fair, accurate, and transparent.
• We need to offer educators career pathways that provide opportunities for increasingly responsible roles.
• These roles must be coupled with compensation that is high enough to attract and retain a highly skilled workforce; reflects the effectiveness, expertise, and contributions of each educator; and is consistent with societal regard accorded to comparable professions.
Reading this document, and seeing the nation’s top education leaders commit their agencies and organizations to it, inspires me to continue on with our work at Chalkboard.
On one front, we are working with schools of education and other education stakeholders to enhance teacher preparation programs. On another front, our CLASS project is structured around expanded career paths, meaningful performance evaluations, targeted and relevant professional development, and new compensation models. And, it requires the support of school boards, district leadership and local union representation, with teachers at the forefront of developing and implementing plans to support and strengthen teaching and raise student achievement. CLASS embodies the core elements of the Transforming the Teaching Profession document.
I’m inspired, also, to see Oregon’s education leaders at this national conference focused on quality teaching, including Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo and top leaders of OEA, COSA and OSBA. With all the key education stakeholders at the table, we surely can “transform the teaching profession.”