Thursday, August 12, 2010

Education Innovating - Give Teachers More

Friends,
please check out a new blog: Education Innovating (Getting Beyond Traditional School) by the policy think tank Education Evolving. They have a long list of policy papers and educational insights on their website. You can also read their last paper entitled: Innovation Based Systemic Reform. I have referenced this group several times in the past, but wanted to point out their newest work.

One of my favorite lines from the current climate around attitudes towards teachers is: If you want to blame them for all of the systemic problems of schools, at least give them the opportunity to control and make decisions (which they currently have very little).  This new teacher role starts first and foremost with having control, input, decisions making power and knowledge about how school budgets and finances work. This is the starting point for the Teacher Professional Practice (TPP).

There have been a few posts that you can check out from the past that I recommend, based on their congruance with my current job and advocacy beliefs around schools:
  • Jim's post (advisor at MN New Country School, my first teaching job) on how teachers and staff make the budget and finance decisions site based.
  • Gigi's Post, who works at my former school EdVisions Off Campus (online, project based school)
  • Doug's post around the formation of EdVisions Schools (my employer) and EdVisions Cooperative (MN teacher cooperative)
  • Joe Graba's post around "improving teacher retention by making it a better job."
  • Lynn Norgren post from Minneapolis Federation of Teachers talks about ownership possibilities inside the Minneapolis School District
  • Carrie Bakken's from Avalon School gives insight to the Department of Education around teacher ownership
There is many more posts that are of interest, but I wanted to highlight a few. The winds of possibility are blowing for teachers to have more ownership in their work. With ownership, comes increased responsibility. With responsibility, should come advocacy and monitoring of education policy. 

Enjoy the last few weeks of summer,

Aaron

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