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Advancing the Teaching Profession

Barnett Berry

July 1, 2014

Creating the conditions for teachers to be effective


Most Americans would agree that all students—regardless of where they live or how much money their parents make—should be taught by effective teachers, every day, in every class. 

How to make that happen is trickier. Is it about recruiting more talent into teaching? Or getting rid of the incompetent teachers in our nation’s classrooms? For years, America’s policymakers have fixated on these two possibilities.

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Barnett Berry

May 23, 2014

CTQ-Global teachers tackle professional learning systems


HEALTH ADVISORY: Some parts of CTQ’s newest TeacherSolutions report may be downright painful to read, due to documented inefficiencies, lost opportunities, and disconnectedness.

Consider yourself warned.

It’s no huge secret that student learning demands teachers’ ongoing learning. International student achievement data—and esteemed researchers like Marc Tucker and Ben Jensen—have told us so for decades.

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Barnett Berry

April 1, 2014

On unions and the future of the teaching profession


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

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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?


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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