Teacher-Powered Public Education

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Reposted from the Hechinger Report:

Much like high-performing organizations in other fields, such as law, medicine, architecture, accounting, and technology, teachers in teacher-powered schools work as partners and are trusted as professionals to produce results — results they can be held accountable for and measured against. At a time when teacher recruitment, retention and engagement are at record lows, thinking laterally should prompt us to reassess our ultimate reform goals as well as the pathways to reach these goals. Whether implementing a “bold” reform initiative or working with principals, district or charter leadership, teachers are our best resources. They are in the classroom every day. They have direct access to the inner workings of their classrooms and schools and are eager for opportunities to grow and lead within them.

In fact, recent research from Education|Evolving found that 78% of teachers would be interested in pursuing a professional partnership arrangement with their colleagues, and that 85% of Americans will support them when they do. This kind of teacher and public support means that a teacher-powered strategy can offer a solution to even the most divisive policy debates on how to support teachers, while still ensuring their effectiveness and balance reform within the system.

When students power their classrooms and teachers power their school, K-12 education thrives. Our education reforms should not only ensure that our students are learning from an “effective” teacher, but that they’re learning from an excellent and empowered teacher. We’ve seen that schools that are teacher-powered are capable of achieving just that. By investing in our teachers more and offering them autonomy, we’re ensuring we have the best teachers in every school.

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