“The national focus on teaching quality is gradually giving rise to the emergence of authentic opportunities for teacher leadership,” writes Kim Farris-Berg in her piece for The Huffington Post Education, In Vergara’s Wake, A New Role for Unions.
In the article, Farris-Berg, who is a research consultant for CTQ and independent education strategist for Teacher-Powered Schools, examines the relationship between unions and teacher-powered schools, which allow teams of teachers the autonomy to make decisions influencing school and student success.
Interviewed for the article is Kathleen Casasa, coordinator for the Northeast Teachers Union Reform Network (TURN). Kathleen played a major role in encouraging the Howard C. Reiche Community School, once labeled as a “failing” school, to become teacher-powered. The school is now seeing strong test scores and high levels of teacher satisfaction.
"Now union leaders have the responsibility to help teachers find and assert their professional voice in matters impacting teaching and learning,” Casasa said. “Giving teachers greater autonomy over professional issues leads to greater ownership and accountability of the profession.”
Farris-Berg is lead author of Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens when Teachers Call the Shots and contributing author to Flip the System: Changing Education From the Ground Up.