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Articles: Professional Development

Kate Walsh is president of the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Are teacher prep programs giving out A’s and honors distinctions too easily?

Sharon P. Robinson is president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

As the U.S. Department of Education combs through the public comments received on its proposed federal regulations for teacher preparation programs, citizens must wait—probably until late summer—to learn the fate of the vast and controversial proposal.

The plan will require states to rate teacher preparation programs based on graduates’ performance—and then tie new teaching students’ eligibility for federal financial aid to those ratings.

Authors Darryl Vidal and Michael Casey provide administrators with a structured methodology for developing an educational technology vision that benefits all stakeholders.

Vision: The First Critical Step in Developing a Strategy for Educational Technology

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

Authors Darryl Vidal and Michael Casey provide administrators with a structured methodology for developing an educational technology vision that benefits all stakeholders and supports school and district strategic plans.

Vince Bertram, formerly superintendent of Indiana’s third-largest urban school district, is now president of Project Lead The Way,

Project Lead The Way President Vince Bertram, a former superintendent, says STEM fields will present graduates with the most job prospects and highest earnings, yet there is a disconnect between who teaches those subjects, how they are taught and how they are applied in the real world.

New teachers in the first semester at the Wright City School District near St. Louis spend one day every month in PD. Teachers learn about assessment, teaching strategies and classroom management.

Teacher quality is crucial to the success of schooling, yet the teacher-hiring process is sometimes rushed and ad hoc. A late-summer flurry of activity in which subjective factors—from where a candidate went to high school to how many resumes an exhausted principal has already reviewed—can weigh as heavily as meaningful evidence of academic achievement or instructional effectiveness.

A National Council on Teacher Quality report compared grades given in teacher preps courses to other majors. (Click to enlarge)

A National Council on Teacher Quality report citing a lack of rigor and grade inflation in teacher preparation courses is being disputed by the organization that represents college and university education programs.

Pamela Roggeman, a high school English teacher for 17 years, is now the academic dean for the College of Education at University of Phoenix.

As it does for many families, local school district quality played a primary role in our real estate choice.

But open-enrollment demanded research. My spouse and I have 35 years of teaching experience between us, so we devised a plan. On one day we scheduled five interviews with five principals from five schools. One essential question drove our discussions: What is your teacher turnover rate?

Lisa Gonzales is superintendent of the Portola Valley School District and vice president of Legislative Action for the Association of California School Administrators. Charles Young is associate superintendent for the Palo Alto Unified School District.

At the core of powerful coaching relationships is the most important quality of effective performance and interactions: High emotional intelligence quotient, or EQ. To increase one’s EQ, coaching needs to focus on four domains: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and relationship management.

Teachers participate in an EdCamp session, where the PD agenda is not determined until they arrive.

If today’s students are expected to direct their own learning, teachers have to be prepared to do the same. That’s the philosophy behind Edcamp, an international network of free, one-day “unconferences” where agendas and sessions aren’t determined until educators arrive in the morning and suggest topics.

When it comes to instruction, new learning standards like the Common Core and technology will get the most attention in 2015. (Click to enlarge chart)

Exciting advancements are on the horizon for classrooms in 2015. While they sound technical, the biggest changes aren’t going to be driven by an app, a computer program or a new kind of tablet—they will come from new theories about how to engage both students and teachers in the classroom.

As baby boomers retire and school enrollment steadily increases, more districts are searching internationally to find candidates for difficult-to-fill math and science positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that districts will need to hire nearly half a million teachers by the end of the decade.

Charles Young is the associate superintendent for the Palo Alto Unified School District. Lisa Gonzales is the superintendent of the Portola Valley School District.

Truly effective leaders blend elements of coaching with their leadership skills to build trust and maximize the power of social interactions. But when it comes to working with other administrators to hone their skills, the need to coach a coach takes on a greater level of importance.

Timothy Purnell is superintendent and Timothy Teehan is academic achievement officer for Somerville Public Schools.

Massachusetts has led the nation with the top National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores for the fifth consecutive time on fourth- and eighth-grade reading and mathematics assessments.

While we realize that unknown variables are part of the equation, it was this statistical preeminence that led us to send a team from Somerville Public Schools in New Jersey to the Northbridge School District in Massachusetts to investigate instructional practices.

Jessica Cuthbertson, a teacher leader in Aurora Public Schools, teaches middle school students. Cutherbertson considers herself a “teacherpreneur” and attends summer retreats via the Center for Teaching Quality.

Although teachers have long coached colleagues and developed curriculum informally and without compensation, teacher leadership programs aim to formalize the role by instituting rigorous selection processes, training and pay.

Twitter has become the new education conference—and it’s in session all day, every day of the year, some educators now say.

Principals, teachers, tech experts and other educators have created dozens of robust, professional learning networks—also called Twitter chats—to connect with each other and share solutions to common challenges.