One technology that I believe offers an intriguing possibility for teachers to create more authentic learning opportunities for students is the relatively new micro-publishing industry.
The inquiry project involved the creation of a three-tiered intervention plan to support all students but provides more focused support and parent communication for students who do not meet attendance/performance expectations.
We must recognize that educators tend to be two peoples divided by the same language. The best example is the word, "Standards." It sounded too much like "standardized." So, a movement to teach fewer concepts for mastery morphed into a rush to cover standardized test questions.
This post invites readers to contribute experiences from the field to the discussion about the futures of school reform.
The system in which professional development sits drives teachers' engagement, and it is only with engagement that even the best designed PD can penetrate.
If you believe, as I do, that the field is way too steeped in ivory tower theory, and not enough research from the best schoolteachers, research on teaching methods will advance if we can get past the "whole school" level and think more deeply about the individual teacher level, in part because the transaction costs will be lower to find teachers who, based on imperfect data, at least seem to be unusually effective.
I would submit the Parent-Teacher Berlin Wall can be significantly dissolved with proactive teacher phone calls to each parent.
A future is where individual teachers who are proven to be successful have five types of choice they don't currently have: 1) 100% control of his/her share of the professional development budget; 2) super-easy to move from state to state; 3) easy to choose a workplace based on its "true" working conditions; 4) option to reject certain tasks in customizing the job; and 5) option to run one's own micro-school, getting rid of the b.s. and keeping the stuff teachers love.
The bottom line is professional development is likely to be a lot better if teachers are driving the details around what they receive based on a good understanding of their own weaknesses and a desire to address them.
This article makes a case why even those on the left should see a role for educational markets.