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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Education reform is...

From Washington Post:

Reform "is like a bus -- you're either going to be on it [as a passenger] or you're going to be driving it," Greg Ahrnsbrak, a Denver teacher whose middle school received autonomy from the school system, told a crowd of educators at the Capital Hilton in downtown Washington today.

"I see no policy, as far as reform goes, from my union," he added. "We need people out there willing to take risks and do bold and imaginative things."

Education Sector, an independent think tank focused on better student outcomes, recently released a report on teacher views on reform, evolving profession and unions. Called Waiting to Be Won Over, the report contains these findings among others:

-- Three out of four teachers said they think too many burned-out veteran teachers refuse to leave because of the benefits and tenure.

-- Fifty-five percent said the process for removing ineffective teachers in their school systems is "very difficult and time-consuming."

-- Sixty-eight percent said they thought giving principals and teachers more control over schools would be better for students.

-- Twenty-five percent of the teachers said they would be willing to trade tenure for a $5,000 raise, while 29 percent said they would prefer to hold onto tenure.

Here's more educational food for thought this morning.

Should U.S. education be guaranteed?


Thora said...

In Australia we are well paid to teach and it comes with big responsibility-our young people.I have left my teaching job for 2 years to reflect and try other things.I am not sure if I will return to my permanent position.I am in midlife and felt I needed to recharge.For over 20 years I have nurtured my own children and students and needed out.Trouble is teachers do not often recognize that they are burning out and what help is there for them in the workplace?But I can see the dilemma because it is hard getting another job when you are older.We still have bills and a mortgage to pay.Interested to hear what others say.Teachers need support to retrain or nourish themselves so they are fit for the job.

Wendy Hoke said...

Excellent comments, Thora. I couldn't agree more. Thank you for sharing.

Meg said...

I agree with Thora. Attention needs to be directed toward "quality" teachers and programs should exist to ensure instructors are nutured and revitalized.

It's all part of professionalism, which doesn't seem to be as big of a priority as "one laptop per child" reforms.

And yes, the "opportunity" for education, I think, should be guaranteed through college. It's the socialist in me. But with all the wealth and resources we have in this country, it's disgraceful we can't provide education and health care to our citizens (and why isn't healthcare one word, by now).

Happy Mother's Day, Wendy.

Wendy A. Hoke said...

Thanks, Meg! And to you!