Archive for April, 2015

    The Power of Teacher Professional Communities in Urban Schools

    Editor’s Note: Professor Hollins inspired attendees of AACTE’s recent Annual Meeting in Atlanta during the Speaker Spotlight Session. (View a video recording of her speech here, and read another version in this Hechinger Report piece, which includes the video she played during her address.) To follow up on her presentation, we invited Hollins to explore her topic in a series of blogs for Ed Prep Matters. This is the final post in the series.

    Most teachers in urban schools, as elsewhere, are dedicated professionals who put much effort into their practice and care deeply about the students they teach. Teachers understandably feel frustrated when their students fail to meet expectations for learning outcomes. How they address this frustration, however, makes all the difference for student outcomes—and it is influenced heavily by the ideology developed in their school’s professional community.

    Strategic Deployment of Teacher Experience: Getting It Right for Students

    News Flash! The interest of students and their opportunity to learn is not better or even well served by a strategy of constant and high demand of inexperienced teachers. Retention matters, not just to teachers but, most critically, to students.

    Recent studies showing that teacher effectiveness continues to develop over time reinforce this imperative to do right by our students. First, in a working paper completed last year for the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, researchers at Duke University found that middle school teachers’ effect on student test scores as well as attendance rates improves over at least several years. A subsequent study out of Brown University found improvement in teacher effectiveness is indeed steepest in the early years in the classroom but continues for many more years, challenging the common perception that teacher quality is a fixed characteristic after just a couple of years of experience.

    Looking Ahead to 2016, NCTQ Continues Data Collection Efforts

    The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has re-engaged its data collection efforts in preparation for its 2016 Teacher Prep Review—scheduled for an October 2016 release. In an e-mail message to programs throughout the country, NCTQ has sent both an overview of the changes for the 2016 review and an itemized data request for each program, requesting that institutions notify NCTQ if they plan to comply with the request by April 20.

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