by Samuel Reed and Peggy M. Savage
Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead but Don't Leave does a great job of examining the skills and traits of thoughtful, innovative, and maverick-like educators. This new book, written by Barnett Berry, Ann Byrd, and Alan Wieder of the Center for Teaching Quality, documents the leadership journeys of eight teachers who are exceptional at what they do but not the exception.
When we first looked at the title of the book, we had mixed reactions. Like many teacher-leaders, we bring an entrepreneurial and activist spirit to our practice. We were excited about the concept of innovative teachers leading, but not leaving, the classroom, yet concerned that the language of market-driven entrepreneurship may lure talented and dedicated teachers away from our craft, our passion, our willingness to give back and connect with our communities.
The Notebook has a content sharing arrangement with Education Week, where this originally appeared. Stephen Sawchuk, who writes the Teacher Beat blog for EdWeek, is covering the strike.
Among the recommendations in the recently released Boston Consulting Group report is a call that the District “undertake comprehensive collective bargaining reform” with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and, simultaneously, “pursue legislative changes” in the school code.
Mastery Charter and its methods for training and supporting teachers may soon exert greater influence in schools all over the city, a development that promises to cement the organization’s influence on educational practice well beyond its own schools.
The Philadelphia Great Schools Compact is asking the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for $2.5 million, some $650,000 of which would pay for Mastery to train teacher coaches to work in District and Catholic schools and other charters.
Seeking to create a “pipeline” of principals and teachers who are better equipped to deal with the real-world challenges found in Philadelphia’s toughest schools, city education leaders submitted a three-year, $2.5 million grant proposal this week to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“Reforming our schools to deliver a world-class education is a shared responsibility – the task cannot be shouldered by our nation's teachers and principals alone…” (U.S. Department of Education, ESA Blueprint for Reform 2010)
Christopher Paslay brings his expertise as a high school English teacher, contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer and Chalk and Talk blogger to make The Village Proposal a timely and compelling read. The book examines the problems in education by juxtaposing Paslay's personal memoir with solid documented research.
You may not agree with some or all of the arguments, but that is exactly what makes Village Proposal a good read. Paslay argues using a narrative structure not found in many books about education reform. He doesn’t bore the reader with an overly complex or over-simplified problem-and-solution approach to education. He presents a nuanced view of shared responsibility.
Are you looking for a thorough synopsis of the topics currently filling the education reform discourse? John Merrow of PBS has a book for you. The Influence of Teachers: Reflections on Teaching and Leadership is a thought-provoking and ambitious attempt to address the current flaws, fallacies, and triumphs of teachers in and out of our American classrooms.
The book, which reads like a summation of all education topics addressed on NPR, is an attempt to look at the teacher debate while being as unbiased as possible (did not succeed, but made a good attempt). The work rummages around topics such as Teach for America’s impact on the teaching profession; the increased focus on literacy and math, specifically in urban school districts; and charter school uprisings. It even looks through the eyes and minds of two notable superintendents as they attempt to navigate the at-times hostile education environment.
The Notebook has a content-sharing agreement with Education Week, where this piece originally appeared.
Publishing teachers' ratings in the newspaper in the way The New York Times and other outlets have done recently is not a good use of performance data, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in an interview yesterday.
"Do you need to publish every single teacher's rating in the paper? I don't think you do," he said. "There's not much of an upside there, and there's a tremendous downside for teachers. We're at a time where morale is at a record low. ... We need to be sort of strengthening teachers, and elevating and supporting them."
Educators including Acting Superintendent Leroy Nunery and Philadelphia Federation of Teachers President Jerry Jordan will speak on a panel following a screening of the documentary American Teacher at High School of the Future Thursday evening.
I recently sat down with Kira Baker-Doyle to talk about her book, The Networked Teacher, and the panel she moderated during the Philadelphia Writing Project's 10th Annual Celebration of Writing and Literacy in November.
Reed: Why do teachers need to build social networks? Does the connotation of the word "network" mean that teachers need to spend more time connecting with each other online?