Great Teachers and Leaders for All Learners

Feb 13 | Alex Berg-Jacobson, AIR Technical Assistance Associate, and Cheryl Pruce, AIR Researcher,
Earlier this month in San Diego, state education agency (SEA) leads from 42 states and 26 equitable access experts gathered together to address what Janice Poda, senior advisor to the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), called a “moral imperative.” Hosted by CCSSO and the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center), this convening catalyzed the... Read more »
Jan 26 | Mark Blitz, Ph.D., Research Associate, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, and Project Director, the Comprehensive Assessment of Leadership for Learning (CALL),
In September, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Policy Board for Educational Administration (NPBEA) released a draft of a “refresh” of the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards―the standards that articulate the expectations and responsibilities for school leadership practice. In addition, CCSSO and NPBEA, through the support of The... Read more »
Jan 14 | Angela Minnici, GTL Center Director,
As we begin 2015 and think about what matters in education, a New Year’s resolution worth making is to double down on our efforts to ensure that every student—especially our neediest— has consistent access to great teachers and leaders.  This year, state leaders have an unprecedented opportunity to lay out a bold vision for ensuring that all students – regardless of zip code and background... Read more »
Dec 15 | Jessica Rigby, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of Education, University of Washington–Seattle, and Lynda Tredway, Senior Associate, Institute for Educational Leadership,
To address the continuing disparity in achievement outcomes between white students and their black and Latino counterparts, the U.S. Department of Education in July 2014 launched the Excellent Educators for All initiative, a response to recommendations of the Equity and Excellence Commission report (written by a collaboration of scholars, teachers, union leaders, state and local... Read more »
Dec 04 | Alexander Berg-Jacobson, Judith Ennis, and Jillian Reynolds, GTL Center Staff,
What should be front and center when we think about the education of future generations and the future of our country? The Education Trust 2014 National Conference, titled “Become The Change: Closing Gaps in Opportunity and Achievement,” unpacked that question with engaging sessions on the challenges affecting students from low-income families, students of color, and their schools. In her... Read more »
Nov 10 | Jane Coggshall,
Earlier this summer, Arne Duncan announced that all states have until April to send their revised Educator Equity Plans to the Department of Education. The plans are supposed to describe the steps states will take to make sure low income students and students of color are not disproportionately saddled with less-experienced, less-qualified, less-effective teachers (“inequitable access... Read more »
Oct 01 | Danielle Kovach, 3rd Grade Special Education Teacher & 2014 Council for Exceptional Children Teacher of the Year,
In my third-grade special education classroom, my students often profess their innermost feelings to me―sometimes sweet, sometimes sad, and sometimes downright funny. But nothing prepared me for when Davin, a 9-year-old student with autism, exclaimed to the class paraeducator, “Mrs. Walsh, I love you. Will you marry me?” Since the beginning of the year, Davin had demonstrated difficulty... Read more »
Aug 25 |
By Daman Harris, Ph.D., Staff Development Teacher; Inger Swimpson, Ed.D., Director, Department of Certification and Continuing Education; Troy Boddy, Director, Equity Initiatives Unit; Gail Epps, Ed.D., Program Manager, New Teacher Induction Program; and Brenda Delany, Ed.D., Instructional Specialist for Higher Education Partnerships, Department of Certification and Continuing Education—... Read more »
Jul 28 | Aaron Butler, Ph.D., Senior Turnaround Consultant at AIR,
With Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s announcement of the Excellent Educators for All initiative earlier this month, putting excellent principals at the helm of high-need schools remains critical. Because turning around the nation’s chronically low-performing schools continues to perplex teachers, school and district leaders, and policymakers, let’s consider the experiences and lessons learned... Read more »
Jun 17 | Jennifer Sullivan, Consultant Teacher, North Syracuse (New York) Central School District,
Think back to your first work experience. Do you remember what it was like to be the “newbie”?  What were you feeling the first time you walked into your new place of employment? With the numerous expectations from employers and co-workers, the first years of a new job are filled with highs and lows. Who did you turn to for support, guidance, and encouragement in those... Read more »
Jun 03 | Cheryl Pruce, Researcher, AIR,
It was like being in a seminar led by a world-class professor—only in this case there were 28 professors, among the top scholars in educational equity. Faculty from Brown, Georgetown, and Stanford universities, leaders from the Clinton Global Initiative, Ford Foundation, and NAACP, and five members of the National Academy of Education including its current president, came to AIR’s Georgetown... Read more »
Jun 03 | Peter Cookson, Ph.D., Director of The Equity Project at American Institutes for Research and Principal Researcher, AIR,
Nearly a century ago, John Dewey reflected on the nature of change in his book Human Nature and Conduct: "We may desire abolition of war, industrial justice, and greater opportunity for all. But no amount of preaching good will or the golden rule or cultivation of sentiments of love and equity will accomplish the results. There must be change in objective arrangements and institutions... Read more »
May 19 | Matthew Clifford, Ph.D., GTL Center Staff,
While the U.S. Department of Education works to develop a 50-state strategy addressing equitable access to effective teachers, school leaders are making staffing decisions for the 2014–15 school year. Principals and superintendents can’t wait for national policy to address the inequities in teacher effectiveness across states, districts, and schools. They need to take the lead on equitable access... Read more »
May 05 | Katherine Bassett, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, National Network of State Teachers of the Year,
How do good teachers transform into great ones? What are the experiences, supports, and motivators that drive good teachers into continually evolving, seeking out meaningful learning experiences, and leading such learning for others? These questions are central to states’ efforts to ensure that all students have great teachers. They also are the crux of a survey study report recently launched by... Read more »
Apr 23 | Lisa Foehr, Director of Educator Quality and Certification, Rhode Island Department of Education,
It seems like nearly every school in every state is implementing a new system that defines educator excellence and evaluates educator performance. Policymakers and local leaders declare their interest not only in determining how an educator performs but also in improving educator performance so students benefit. So, how does a state or a school system make good on guaranteeing that educator... Read more »
Apr 11 | Jane Coggshall, GTL Center,
Twelve years after federal policy first tried to chip away at the problem of unequal access to teacher quality through No Child Left Behind, the field continues to grapple with this complex issue. Today’s “Equitable Access” event at the Center for American Progress (CAP), cohosted with American Institutes for Research, reminded the policy wonks in the room that low-income students and students... Read more »
Mar 31 | Jessica Giffin, GTL Center Technical Assistance Support,
GTL Center staff joined thousands of educators at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards “Teaching and Learning” conference in Washington, D.C., March 14-15, 2014. Among others, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Bill Gates, Linda Darling-Hammond, Charlotte Danielson, Tony Wagner, and Angela Duckworth addressed the crowd. Attendees were asked a central question: What is... Read more »
Mar 20 | Christopher Poulos, Teacher-Leader in Residence, Connecticut State Department of Education, and Teacher at Joel Barlow High School, Redding, Connecticut,
This year I have had the unique opportunity of splitting my time between teaching in my Redding, Connecticut, school district and serving as a teacher-leader in residence at the Connecticut State Department of Education. In this hybrid role, I have been able to work alongside policy leaders making decisions that impact public education while reflecting on my classroom practice and representing... Read more »
Feb 26 | Angela Minnici, Ph.D., GTL Center Director,
Both new and longstanding debates over reforming teacher preparation took center stage on February 27, 2014, at a joint hearing,  “Exploring Efforts to Strengthen the Teaching Profession,” held by the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education and the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training. At the heart of the conversation is the quality of teacher... Read more »
Feb 20 | Ellen Sherratt, Senior Researcher, AIR,
Earlier this month, a handful of wealthy business leaders in Jacksonville, Florida, took a bold and innovative step to elevate teacher and principal salaries in the region. Pooling $40 million in donations, they agreed to provide $20,000/year-- “lifestyle-changing” salary bumps --to educators who are making a difference in the area’s 36 most troubled schools. One donor, former Jacksonville... Read more »


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