Whatever their flaws, unions play a critical role in public education. So how can we move past the for/against dichotomy?
Knowing that we tend to take different sides on a range of policy issues, we wanted to figure out if there were things we could actually agree on.
Professional development needs improvement. But what would better PD look like?
What's driving teachers out of classrooms? Are current policy efforts hurting or helping?
Are current policy efforts strengthening the teacher corps or driving good teachers out?
Are standardized test scores too narrow? Are they objective? Do they measure what we value?
Continuing our discussion about standardized tests, we sort through the uses and abuses of the "value-added" model in teacher evaluation.
We agree that assessment is most useful when it can inform instructional practice. Beyond that, however, we have lots of disagreements.
Our aim in this dialogue is to move beyond the rhetoric (and counter- rhetoric) in an effort to restore some common ground for improving our schools.