"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Monday, December 12, 2011

Join the Coalition on Teacher Quality

While the corporate ed reformers give lip service to the importance of great teachers, they are working overtime to replace professionally-trained teachers with temporary missionaries armed with Doug Lemov's bible who learn to teach on poor people's children before moving on to their real careers.  

Below are the Seven Principles of the Coalition on Teacher Quality, along with the list of 84 organizations that have endorsed these principals.  Click here to view a briefing sponsored by Senator Sanders and the 84 organizations of the Coalition on Teaching Quality.

 Principles to Ensure Student Access to Fully Prepared and Effective Teachers Under ESEA and HEA Title II
Research indicates that teacher quality is the most important school factor impacting student achievement. Yet, students in low-income and minority schools are far less likely to have access to well-prepared and effective teachers, as are students with disabilities and English learners. In many communities, students experience a revolving door of untrained and under-supported novice teachers who cannot sustain a high-quality education.
To promote and support the creation of a stable supply of qualified, effective educators for all communities, we put forward the following principles for ESEA and HEA Title II reauthorization.
1.       All students are entitled to teachers who are qualified (fully prepared and fully certified), as well as effective. The requirement that qualified teachers should be assigned to all students – and that states and districts make progress to ensuring that all of their teachers are qualified --should be continued.  To meet the “qualified” standard, teachers must have completed a full preparation program and have met full state certification standards in the field they teach.
2.       Teachers in training, if assigned as teacher of record, must be accurately identified, equitably distributed, and adequately supervised. Where fully prepared teachers are not available, teacher trainees may be hired.  In these cases, parents must be informed that their child’s teacher has not completed preparation and has not yet fully met state certification standards, and states and districts must report on the distribution of such teachers, by teaching field and school, and be required to distribute these teachers equitably.  In addition, districts must ensure that such teachers and their students are closely overseen by a fully qualified and experienced Supervising Teacher who coaches and observes regularly in the classroom, reviews and signs off on lesson plans and assessment practices, tracks the progress of students, and ensures that the needs of all students, including students with disabilities and English learners, are being adequately met. The Supervising Teacher must be identified to parents and provided with release time and training to serve in this role. 
3.       Teacher effectiveness should be evaluated based on valid measures of teacher performance. For Entering teachers (whose classroom performance cannot be fully evaluated for some time), we recommend that, in addition to full preparation, effectiveness be evaluated by passing a robust, field-specific teacher performance assessment that validly and reliably measures whether a teacher can successfully teach diverse students in the classroom.
      Experienced teachers should be evaluated by trained assessors on the basis of professional teaching standards, their joint efforts to improve learning within the school, and appropriate and multi-faceted evidence of their contributions to student learning.  The results of these multi-faceted evaluations should be used to guide professional development and personnel decisions: Teachers who do not meet standards of effectiveness should be offered the support necessary to improve, and those who do not improve should be removed.    
4.       Any determinations made about the status of an individual teacher (e.g. qualified, effective) should be based on that individual teacher’s demonstrated skill, knowledge and ability. An individual’s status should not be based on the preparation program or pathway he/she is enrolled in or previously attended.

5.             ESEA comparability provisions should be strengthened and enforced in order to ensure equitable resources and equally qualified teachers across schools serving different populations of students.  ESEA should strengthen and enforce comparability requirements to ensure that poor and minority students, and students with disabilities, do not experience disproportionate numbers of uncertified, inexperienced, or out-of-field teachers. In addition, teachers identified as “trainees” (i.e., less than fully prepared teachers) or “not effective” should not be disproportionately concentrated in poor and minority schools.
6. Preparation programs should be held to common, high standards. Credentialing programs should provide general and special education teachers with the content and pedagogical knowledge, skills and expertise needed to support learning for all students.  Traditional and alternative route certification programs should be held accountable for both program quality and multiple indicators of graduates’ ability to teach successfully. Programs that do not meet standards should have an opportunity to improve, and if no improvement is shown over a reasonable period of time, they should be closed.

7.   7.  Investments should be made in proven methods to recruit, prepare, develop and retain fully prepared and effective teachers in shortage fields and hard to staff schools.

Coalition for Teaching Quality
National Organizations

Alliance for Multilingual Multicultural Education
American Council on Education 
American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
American Association of People with Disabilities
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
American Council for School Social Work
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
ASPIRA Association 
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Autism National Committee 
Center for Teaching Quality 
Citizens for Effective Schools
Communities for Excellent Public Schools 
Council for Exceptional Children
Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
Disability Policy Collaboration, A Partnership of The Arc and UCP Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, Inc
Easter Seals
Education Law Center 
FairTest, The National Center for Fair & Open Testing
First Focus Campaign for Children
Gamaliel Foundation  
Helen Keller National Center
Higher Education Consortium for Special Education
Knowledge Alliance
Latino Elected and Appointed Officials
National Taskforce on Education
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law 
Learning Disabilities Association of America 
Movement Strategy Center
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
National Alliance of Black School Educators   
National Association of School Psychologists 
National Association of State Directors of Special Education 
National Center for Learning Disabilities 
National Consortium on Deaf-Blindness 
National Council for Educating Black Children 
National Council of Teachers of English 
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 
National Disability Rights Network 
National Down Syndrome Congress 
National Down Syndrome Society 
National Education Association
National Indian Education Association 
National Latino Education Research & Policy Project
National PTA
National Urban League 
League of United Latin American Citizens 
Parents Across America 
Public Advocates Inc.
Public Education Network
Rural School and Community Trust
School Social Work Association of America
South East Asia Resource Action Center
TASH - Equity, Opportunity, and Inclusion for  People with Disabilities 
Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children
United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries
State and Local Organizations
Action Now – Illinois
Action Now– North Carolina
ACTION United 
Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) 
Arkansas Community Organizations 
Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network 
Brighton Park Neighborhood Council – Chicago 
California Association for Bilingual Education
Californians for Justice 
Californians Together
California Latino School Boards Association 
Campaign for Quality Education
Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning 
Coalition for Educational Justice 
Delawareans for Social and Economic Justice 
Grow Your Own Illinois 
Inner City Struggle 
Justice Matters 
Legal Advocates for Children and Youth 
Philadelphia Student Union
Parents for Unity 
RYSE Center
San Francisco Teacher Residency
Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education 
Youth On Board – Somerville, MA 
Youth Together

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