In a new commentary published by Education Week, TLN co-founder Barnett Berry, president of the Center for Teaching Quality, calls upon policymakers and education policy wonks to abandon the “either-or” struggle over the best way to select, prepare and evaluate teachers and work together on balanced policies that both increase student success and enhance the profession’s future.

“In the early years of this new century, the fate of teaching in America still appears to be up for grabs. Whether, in grabbing for it, we tear the profession apart remains to be seen,” Berry writes.

“Over the past two decades, researchers of all ideological stripes and methodological perspectives have converged around a view that teachers are the key to whether or not students achieve. Yet little consensus has been reached on how best to recruit and reward teachers, how much preparation talented candidates need, how to use test-score data in assessing teachers, or how long we should expect to retain recruits in teaching careers.”

Are America’s public schools trapped between the front lines of a “not-so-civil policy war, with no possibility of reconciliation?” Berry asks. “Maybe not. I suggest we begin moving beyond the rancorous rhetoric and imagine a future of teaching in which the following conditions prevail . . .”

Visit the Education Week website to peruse the intriguing conditions around which Berry believes school reformers can find common ground. You can also leave comments of your own. If you’re asked to sign in, Ed Week allows registered non-subscribers to access several free articles per week. More information here.

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