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Topic: education reform
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October 15, 2013 at 12:08 PM
I wish I could be a fly on the wall at a Seattle panel later today that promises to better frame critical debates about teacher effectiveness. Tonight teachers and those who help train them will talk about how teachers are prepared, supported, evaluated and paid.
The teacher prep event, hosted by Teachers United, starts at 5 p.m. Tuesday at McKinstry Innovation Center, 210 S. Hudson Street in Seattle. This is billed as a deep-dive discussion geared toward teachers, but I suspect everyone following the teacher quality debate would be interested in following along. Changes to state education laws and local school district policies are going to be culled from conversations like this one.
Here are the panelists for tonight: Elham Kazemi, Associate Dean of Professional Learning at the University of Washington; Marisa Bier, Director, Seattle Urban Teacher Residency; Lindsay Hill, Executive Director, Teach For America for Washington state and Jeff Wilson, Project Director of Performance Management, The New Teacher Project.
Follow this discussion and future ones on teacher quality at this Teachers United website http://www.teachersunitedwa.org/prep_panel
In the YouTube video below, Prof. Kazemi talks about ways elementary school teachers can become better instructors of mathematics.
April 5, 2013 at 6:30 AM
Within big-tent groups like unions, various agendas, factions and viewpoints successfully, or not so successfully sometimes, meld into a coherent single voice. The struggle is always to unite, and hold, all of the different groups in order to retain the clout big numbers offer. The Republican Party has been open about its struggle to represent its conservative wings while trying to reach out to more moderate voters.
That battle is also being waged by the powerful Washington Education Association, and as I wrote in my latest column cracks are beginning to appear in the facade of the 82,000-member union.
Dissent in the WEA is growing, a sign perhaps of how high the stakes are for teachers. On virtually every significant education issue, from merit pay to tenure to testing, the union weighs in strongly and unequivocally, meanwhile my email inbox fills with more nuanced, or even dissenting, views from teachers. Some, like a candidate to replace WEA president Mary Lindquist - Oak Harbor Education Association President Peter Szalai – believe the union concedes too much to pro-education reformers. Others, like teacher advoacy group, Teachers United , think the union should embrace reforms more. There are other examples of teachers operating on the margins of the union, offering a broader viewpoint. The challenge for the union is to embrace differing views while holding its sizeable center.
The WEA surveyed 600 of its members in February and found most were satisfied with the union. Members with six years or less reported the least amount of satisfaction. The most support was found among members who had been teaching between six and 10 years.