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Advancing the Teaching Profession

Barnett Berry

April 1, 2014

On unions and the future of the teaching profession

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I’m no blame-the-unions pundit. After all, management—not unions—have imposed many of the rules that stifle creative (heck, even just sensible) practices in schools.

But here’s the plain truth: it’s time for unions to innovate.

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Barnett Berry

March 26, 2014

The education riddle we must solve now

1 comment

Riddle me this: What is plentiful in schools but rarely utilized? What matters a great deal for children—yet carries little weight for policymakers? You guessed it: teacher expertise. 

A new survey reveals that only 32 percent of America’s teachers report their opinions are “heard and valued” at the district level, beyond their schools. And a miniscule fraction of the 20,000 teachers polled by Scholastic believe their perspectives are embraced at the state level (5%) and or national level (2%).  

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Barnett Berry

March 20, 2014

Will Arne Duncan leave a legacy of teacher leadership?

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I was delighted when USDOE Secretary Arne Duncan used the very language I’ve so often employed—of leading without leaving the classroom—to announce a new teacher leadership effort last week. But is his administration ready to address the significant barriers teacher leaders face?

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Barnett Berry

November 25, 2013

Look to other ‘knowledge industries’ to get teacher evaluation right

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America’s teaching profession is in need of an overhaul of its teacher evaluation system.  Researchers of many decades ago—including Arthur Wise and Linda Darling-Hammond back in 1984—pointed out such problems as the lack of “uniformity and consistency” as well as “resolve and competency” of administrators in assessing teacher performance.*  

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