Dec 17, 2012

Giving teachers more power helps in turnaround of Boston schools
"Six low-performing Boston schools participating in a pilot program that gives teachers more training, support, and leadership roles are showing higher growth on state tests than other low-performing city schools according to a report released Monday by the non-profit Teach Plus... In addition to training and hiring new teachers, the six schools in the T3 Initiative, provided health and wellness services for students, and intensive teacher professional development over the summer. "
"Six other Boston turnaround schools did not participate in the T3 pilot, but did experiment with longer school days and staffing changes. A report by The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education found that state-wide, less successful turnaround schools, including those not part of the T3 program, tended to provide more generic professional development, infrequent coaching and teacher support, and struggled to create a safe school environments. Test scores at those turnaround schools have remained relatively stagnant."
And, yet, offering teachers more training, support, and leadership roles is avoided (because we lack advanced degrees, or good decision-making skills, or experience, or six-figure salaries, or...)
"Research has shown that teachers are the most important in-school factor that influences student achievement[.]"
Unfortunately, if teachers are treated with that level of respect, it's no longer possible to criticize them for everything that goes wrong, including the decisions of others.

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