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GREAT Act Q&A, part 2

Last Wednesday, I blogged about Senate Bill 1250, the GREAT Teachers and Principals Act, designed to create and support high-performing teacher and principal “training academies.” The introduction of this legislation sparked a wave of media coverage, which in turn generated a number of questions and discussions over Twitter, Facebook, and in the blogosphere. So, in the spirit of the Q&A theme used in my original post, I thought I would answer a […] Read more

GREAT Act Q&A

Today, Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) will introduce a bill, co-sponsored by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Mark Kirk (R-IL) to support the creation and expansion of teacher and principal training academies. This legislation, titled the Growing Excellent Achievement Training Academies for Teachers and Principals Act (GREAT Act), represents a bold, innovative approach to improving the quality of teacher and leader training. And in the spirit of […] Read more

Nick Ehrmann’s Rethinking Human Capital in Technology–Based Education

In his response to last week’s NewSchools Summit, Nick Ehrmann of Blue Engine gives a warning to those who would believe that ed tech will accelerate student learning in the absence of other fundamental shifts in the way that K-12 schools and classrooms are structured. It’s a terrific piece, although we hasten to add that NewSchools is enthusiastically interested in entrepreneurial work outside the education technology world—and particularly in organizations that integrate […] Read more

Guest Post: Transforming education faster bottom-up instead of top-down

By Tory Gattis, Social Systems Architect and Founder of OpenTeams This post is an attempt to introduce some controversial buzz into the conversations at the summit: Is it possible our whole approach to reforming education is wrong? And by wrong, I don’t mean failing – great things are definitely happening – but wrong in the sense that we’re making progress too slowly given the size and urgency of the problem. Even today, after […] Read more

DVR Unplugged

From New York City to Nevada, the heat is on teacher tenure.  Predictably, the Times quotes NEA President Dennis Van Roekel pushing back against the momentum.  However, in so doing, Van Roekel asks a great question: “Why aren’t governors standing up and saying, ‘In our state, we’ll devise a system where nobody will ever get into a classroom who isn’t competent’?”  (Nevermind that tenure is supposed to be a system that at […] Read more

Learning to Teach … Better

Earlier this month, when the Tennessee state board of education released data showing that teachers trained by Teach For America were among the most effective new teachers in the state, the blogosphere sounded off with the familiar strains of a TFA debate. Critics searched for ways to discredit the report’s conclusions and boosters enthusiastically called for TFA to take over all of teacher training. This debate misses the point.  Whether through recruitment, […] Read more

Teaching as Entrepreneurship?

Over lunch at the NewSchools Community of Practice event this afternoon, Teach For America’s Steven Farr, author of Teaching as Leadership, and Uncommon Schools’ Doug Lemov, author of Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College, talked about what they are learning (and sharing, through their books) about the practices of effective teachers. It turns out that a lot of the characteristics are similar to those […] Read more

Guest post: Time to get TEACHED

This guest post is from filmmaker Kelly Amis of Loudspeaker Films, who will be a speaker at NewSchools Summit 2010. TEACHED is her first film. Public education is supposed to be the great equalizer in America, but here we are in 2010 and our education system is almost perfectly designed to ensure some groups will never perform academically as well as others. After a year and a half of interviewing students, parents, teachers and […] Read more