We need to learn together over time about what combinations of learning opportunities and supports are needed to help all children thrive, and to do this, we need a much more diverse who in the conversation than we currently have, and we need to have real conversations.

When companies like GE realize that they have significant resources and expertise internally to develop people, and that they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on remediation of their employees AND concurrently investing millions of dollars in the schools where their employees send their kids to try and grow future workers, they may decide to get into the charter school business. One day soon KIPP's biggest "competitor" might be "GE Schools."

No one has told these students that they cannot control their own learning. No one has "schooled" the adult tutors, who are largely recruited from the rural communities they serve, that they are "unqualified" to teach or to serve as leaders of learning in their communities. The students and tutors share an understanding that, if there are things that they need to know in order to teach others, they will learn them through the teaching of others. The students and adults form a powerful social movement, with a common identity around access to learning.

I wonder, finally, what would happen if we simply opened the doors and let the students go; if we let them walk out of the dim light of the overhead projector into the sunlight; if we let them decide how, or whether, to engage this monolith? Would it be so terrible? Could it be worse than what they are currently experiencing?

By formally defining and assigning the role of watching out for the whole student, and providing this role with the right time and tools, teaching teams can make sure that no student falls through the cracks no matter how the work of instruction is divided.

This piece argues that asking lone teachers to create highly differentiated instruction requires almost superhuman skill, and suggests that a mix of technology and differentiated teacher roles can better achieve the task of high quality instruction for all students.

By Olivia Meeks Over the last several weeks, this blog has featured dozens of insightful pieces which gaze into the future of education, but today we're going to take a look in the rearview mirror. Rick, Greg, and I have sketched out a vision of education's future in which schools shift from the do-everything teacher model to a model which leverages staff specialization and new technologies. For those who haven't had a chance to read the Ed Week piece yet (no time like the present!), a major component of this more tech-centered, specialized system is the adoption of differentiated staffing. ...

By Frederick M. Hess Any meaningful effort to redefine the teaching job, as Greg, Olivia, and I suggest in this week's Ed Week piece, will inevitably raise questions of how to redefine compensation. As cash-strapped states and school systems wrestle with tight budgets, it's vital to recognize that one-size-fits-all pay is insensitive to questions of productivity. Although the term productivity is regarded as an irritant in most education conversations, it refers to nothing more than how much good a given employee can do. If one teacher is regarded by colleagues as a far more valued mentor than another, or if ...

This post argues we should stop looking for more "superhero" teachers and instead try to differentiate roles in a way that takes advantage of differences in teachers talents and capabilities.

It seems to me that a key challenge for policy makers in any arena is to implement policies that help make the worst cases better while simultaneously avoiding making the best cases worse.


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