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  • Creating Teacher Leadership Targets - and Hitting Them - with Micro-Credentials | Teaching Matters
    teacher leaders Teaching Matters began the micro credentialing program in January starting with workshops on facilitating learning teams for both principals and a cohort of teachers At the administrators workshop principals learned about the roles teacher leaders can fill and how to use the skills of those teachers to improve learning One important component is maximizing team analysis of data and student work Teachers selected for the micro credentialing program attended a two day institute covering the rubric for competencies protocols how to select the best focus area and how to measure impact Then they were assigned a Teaching Matters coach to guide them in developing and demonstrating the competencies The coach also observes teachers as they practice those competencies in their schools In many cases These are teacher leaders that have already been identified that are already doing leadership work in their schools Strain said So they re coming at it with a lot of skills already in place The micro credential eligible skills are grouped into three main bands facilitation and team building data and research and pedagogy and instruction Within those bands teachers can earn credentials for such skills as facilitating groups of colleagues using data to undergird their instruction and aligning curriculum to achieve the best outcomes Attaining a credential requires passing assessments that include observation and evidence of effectively leading teams to influence classroom practice As they demonstrate these competencies we can then recognize the work that they re doing by issuing a micro credential said Jennifer Gleason a senior educational consultant for Teaching Matters and a micro credential coach Successful teacher leaders are rewarded with more than a certificate They are awarded a digital badge embedded with data showing the competency earned and the evidence of what they did to earn the credential Teachers

    Original URL path: http://www.teachingmatters.org/blog/creating-teacher-leadership-targets-and-hitting-them-micro-credentials (2016-02-13)
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  • Teacher Leadership By Any Other Name: Distributing the Load at Tompkins Square Middle School | Teaching Matters
    say every time I trust you guys to make the best decision The school carves out time for teachers to meet together weekly in committees Everyone is welcome We all feel more accountable when we re talking to each other when we re making decisions together says Douglas Keyzer 7th grade Humanities teacher Keyzer has served as a committee facilitator a coordinating role There are regular meetings within departments and within grades One day a month teachers have a joint best practices show and tell On a snowy day in February a group from Teaching Matters visited the school and saw classrooms with a culture that looked participatory energetic and effective Later a team of Tompkins Square teachers shared their thoughts about the school s operation Words recurred community trust structure consensus building a democratic system At a time of heated debate in education policy about what works to engage and retain good teachers who in turn engage their students it seems as if Tompkins Square has hit upon a winning formula Their faculty turnover has been low and student performance high But there are a few caveats TSMS is small and it has a well established culture of cooperation and participation The school was founded with that ethic and its teachers must subscribe to it in order to be hired As a former teacher himself Principal Estwick values it and has been committed to ramping it up Not every school has a principal who puts so much trust in his staff and believes so strongly in teacher voice He is reluctant to tamper in some ways with what is working Although some of his teachers say the school embodies the best principles of teacher leadership he is leery of the term because it could create too much hierarchical division

    Original URL path: http://www.teachingmatters.org/blog/teacher-leadership-any-other-name-distributing-load-tompkins-square-middle-school (2016-02-13)
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  • Teacher Leadership Helps Schools Start Students on the Right Foot | Teaching Matters
    learning they absorb in workshops outside of the classroom Research shows that teachers are most effective when they use their classrooms as sites of intentional investigation to reflect on and improve their practice In fact this approach to engaging teachers in professional learning is the foundation of my work as one of the developers of Teaching Matters Early Reading Matters program which emphasizes teacher collaboration as the driver of improved reading achievement among K 3 students So what has invited this change For starters reforms to the profession like new teacher evaluation requirements have prompted teachers and school leaders to find creative ways to optimize their resources These same reforms have also necessitated targeted professional development for teachers We have seen more and more professional learning communities popping up in schools in response to these realities In addition research on teaching and learning has helped us figure out that effective instruction relies on formative assessment because it can with precision influence a teacher s next instructional steps And given the complexity of teaching children to read formative assessment which involves monitoring student progress toward reaching the established learning targets is essential This task however can be overwhelming for teachers reviewing formative assessment data in isolation For this reason teacher collaborative inquiry that centers on student achievement guided by skilled teacher leaders makes sense Finally student achievement data give us some insight Only one third of tested third graders demonstrated proficiency in reading on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress The achievement data in an overwhelming majority of the schools in which this program is being introduced this spring are even more sobering The need is clearly great and there is a road map for improvement Teacher leadership promotes a sustainable culture of professional learning and growth that uses collaborative

    Original URL path: http://www.teachingmatters.org/blog/teacher-leadership-helps-schools-start-students-right-foot (2016-02-13)
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  • Harnessing Teacher Talent for Leadership: The Feds Invest in Spreading the Idea | Teaching Matters
    teachers are willing to use their talents in a range of roles from instructional coaching and curriculum reform to crunching student data and organizing parents but they ve often been denied the chance Not all principals have welcomed sharing leadership or prioritized teacher ideas needs and growth The practitioners of instruction have had the least voice in how we move schools said Lynette Guastaferro executive director for Teaching Matters If teachers don t inform reform there can be a disconnect between what works on the ground and policies I am continuously amazed at how little our schools tap into the talent that many many teachers have They teachers want to use that talent without leaving the classroom said Ron Thorpe president of the National Board Their ideas and talents can be key in improving outcomes for their students and aiding principals who have seen the time they have to devote to curriculum and instruction eroded by other demands They re saying their job is as hard as ever if not the hardest it s ever been said José Vilson a math teacher in New York City and board member for the Center for Teaching Quality A teacher leader can really do a lot to decrease the stress that principals have with developing all the new initiatives Summits organized under the banner of Teach to Lead took place in Kentucky Boston and Denver in December January and February Jennifer Gleason a senior education consultant for Teaching Matters led a workshop at the first summit held in Louisville Attending were educators and administrators who earned invitations after submitting ideas to Commit to Lead an online forum created as an adjunct to Teach to Lead The summit was a time to refine ideas and get feedback from other educators Among those Gleason met

    Original URL path: http://www.teachingmatters.org/blog/harnessing-teacher-talent-leadership-feds-invest-spreading-idea (2016-02-13)
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  • Teaching Matters | Great teachers. Bright futures.
    prospering schools than the struggling ones within their own borders let alone the disparities that exist between poorer and more affluent districts She and Paul Hill have explained how averaging teacher salaries within districts disguises the often huge discrepancies between the most and least Read More Comments Support Teachers with What They Need to Grow By Sharon Rubinstein Posted Wednesday November 26 2014 9 24am by Sharon Rubinstein and Leonard Sparks The old English proverb In unity there is strength is fully applicable to the task of great teaching Collaboration community and collective effort promote growth in a school s faculty and achievement by its students But such a supportive structure that fuels teacher excellence is built upon experience continuity and peer leadership Both the need and challenge are particularly great in disadvantaged school districts where teaching is often most difficult turnover is high and students are more likely to be taught by novice teachers or teachers considered ineffective In New York City overall teacher turnover has been declining but teachers in high poverty schools transfer out in large numbers according to a report released in May by the city s Independent Budget Office That is absolutely a central issue to closing the achievement gap said Daria Hall director of K 12 policy development for Education Trust We re not going to close the achievement gap until we get serious about ensuring that those students who need the strongest teachers Read More Comments Educating New Teachers More Effectively By Sharon Rubinstein Posted Wednesday November 12 2014 1 53pm This week The U S Department of Education mandated that by June the states must submit new plans to assure that the neediest students aren t saddled with the least experienced or credentialed teachers Below read one of our solutions to remedy the problem and check the link to the right to get the full picture and four other ideas in our online magazine Points of Practice According to their instructor here s the good news for two aspiring teachers and top notch students at the University of Maryland Baltimore County They ve mastered their content area mathematics and can teach at a higher level while Read More Comments Challenging an Unacceptable Class Divide By Lynette Guastaferro Posted Thursday November 6 2014 11 00am The following blog post is drawn from the newest issue of our online magazine Points of Practice Look for more excerpts in the next few weeks and if you like it subscribe How big a challenge is it to deliver great teaching to every public school student so that family income and geography don t determine scholastic results A very big one and at the heart of our practice Teaching Matters is in the trenches trying to combat the impact of zip codes on opportunity Our mission is to develop and retain great teachers and measurably increase their ability to give students in urban public schools an excellent education Doing so means understanding social problems not just educational

    Original URL path: http://www.teachingmatters.org/blog?page=1 (2016-02-13)
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  • Teaching Matters | Great teachers. Bright futures.
    The most effective principals almost always set up systems to ensure that teachers are working in collaborative ways Sometimes the collaboration is subtle and sometimes as we saw in our last two Rohatyn Prize Winners teacher collaboration and continuous improvement are built into the school s DNA Collaboration is not an end in and of itself It s about developing trust Trust in schools makes it possible for people to grow How Read More Comments Moving Forward After a Deal s Demise By Lynette Guastaferro Posted Wednesday January 23 2013 5 08pm There is every reason to bemoan the lost chance of a teacher evaluation deal last Thursday night not the least of which is the hundreds of millions of dollars now derailed from educating children Even more dollars may be at stake Equally important New York City has stalled in adopting a new evaluation system that can and should benefit teachers and students alike A strong meaningful process for teacher feedback is critical to teacher development and retention A great number of teachers especially in their early years suffer from the sinking sense that they are flying the plane alone with no support I can attest to the feeling from my own personal experiences as a rookie teacher years ago The evaluation and feedback system that the teachers union and New York State had apparently agreed to could have offered a strong starting point While many teachers rightly fear value added analysis which has been shown to be unreliable when used alone this evaluation system offered multiple measures including the use of local measures which could be designed to capture gains that may not show in state tests Just in the past month the Gates Foundation issued a report that promoted a three part methodology in evaluations consisting of student performance student evaluations of teachers and observations of teachers in the classroom The Gates Read More Comments Are you a smart consumer of data By Lynette Guastaferro Posted Wednesday October 24 2012 4 08pm by Evan O Donnell Director of Information and Technology Teachers are often told to be careful consumers of data and to look at more than one source when identifying student learning problems This is good advice But while a one stop shopping experience might be preferable in practice these multiple sources are rarely found in the same place In most schools when a student takes an assessment the type of assessment determines where the data will go State testing data can be found in ARIS while local assessments go into the teacher s grade book Predictive assessments can be in Acuity or in the assessment provider s proprietary system This can make it difficult to look at different data sources together So the challenge becomes how to take diverse products from many different aisles and put them in the same shopping cart As with any complex problem sometimes simpler is better And there are some simple strategies for schools to use when incorporating student level

    Original URL path: http://www.teachingmatters.org/blog?page=2 (2016-02-13)
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  • Teaching Matters | Great teachers. Bright futures.
    second fifty years Read More Comments Teaching Matters Common Core Summer Series By Lynette Guastaferro Posted Monday August 1 2011 3 45pm As of July 2011 43 states have opted to implement the Common Core State Standards the national educational standards intended to raise the bar on student achievement nationwide Much has been made of what these standards will mean for students but what about teachers What new proficiencies might teachers need to create tasks that meet the new standards and assessments that accurately gauge whether students have succeeded in the mastery of higher order skills It s easy to know whether a student has correctly identified parts of a speech Comparatively speaking it s more difficult to identify whether a student has sufficiently demonstrated knowledge of synthesis How will teachers come to a common understanding of what is needed to assess these higher order skills And what kinds of structures can leaders put in place to ensure their teaching staff is prepared to meet the challenge of the Common Core While schools are not expected to fully implement the standards until 2014 school leaders know that experimenting early and often will ease the instructional transition During the Read More Comments In the News Teaching Matters at Chelsea High School By Lynette Guastaferro Posted Thursday July 14 2011 7 21pm Teaching Matters work was recently featured in a WNYC News report about academic gains being made by students at Chelsea Career and Technical Education High School Over 90 percent of Juniors passed this year s English and US History Regents exams with comparable gains seen among Sophomores who took the Science Regents Teaching Matters has worked in partnership with Chelsea High School for three years to help build a school culture of professional learning planning and collaboration During the 2010 2011 school year Senior Educational Consultants Jelbin DeLaCruz and Judith LeFevre worked with 18 teachers across grade levels and subject areas with a specific focus on improving student writing outcomes DeLaCruz and LeFevre supported staff in the creation of grade specific writing prompts and rubrics aligning the curriculum to the school s instructional priorities Using Writing Matters as a model the school administered a baseline writing assessment to identify deficiencies and strengths among the student Read More Comments Teaching Matters Awards First Annual Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize to Jeanne Rotunda Principal of West Side Collaborative By Lynette Guastaferro Posted Wednesday August 3 2011 1 32pm NEW YORK July 11 2011 PRNewswire USNewswire Teaching Matters is pleased to announce that Jeanne Rotunda Principal of West Side Collaborative MS 250 is the recipient of the first annual Elizabeth Rohatyn Prize for School Innovation The 15 000 prize was presented to Rotunda by Elizabeth Rohatyn at Teaching Matters Fourth Annual Summer Forum for Principals West Side Collaborative s online collaborative community fosters the staff s ability to differentiate instruction for students share resources and lessons and strategically use assessments Rotunda plans to use the award to build teacher effectiveness through the expansion of the

    Original URL path: http://www.teachingmatters.org/blog?page=3 (2016-02-13)
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  • Teaching Matters | Great teachers. Bright futures.
    right to own a gun Next week as part of Teaching Matters citywide Voices and Choices culminating events hundreds of middle school students will convene at the Intrepid Air and Space Museum and Pace University to take a stand and voice their opinions on these questions and many more The week begins with a Civil Rights Student Summit at Pace University on Monday May 16 at 9 00AM Eighth grade students from middle schools across the city will Read More Comments Google Marketplace Will Educator Choice Increase Innovation By Lynette Guastaferro Posted Friday May 13 2011 8 17am How do you get a truly innovative educational product into the hands of classroom teachers The answer is It s not easy According to Chad Dorsey President and CEO of the Concord Consortium in the article Perspective Distributing Innovation the problem is two fold The first hurdle is the costly time consuming process of research development and user testing necessary for producing products teachers can effectively use Next is the daunting task of product distribution in a competitive landscape where the major distribution channels are dominated by larger publishers While these challenges have seemed insurmountable Google s growing EDU Apps Marketplace is poised to dismantle both barriers by providing educators greater choice and easy access to digital tools they can use in the classroom In general Read More Comments Next Generation Learning Challenges Wave II Finalists By Lynette Guastaferro Posted Monday May 9 2011 1 45pm Teaching Matters is pleased to announce that we have advanced to the second round of consideration for a Next Generation Learning Challenges NGLC grant The Wave Two challenge is to create open source digital content and assessments that will help classrooms meet the new Common Core standards The NGLC initiative is funded by the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Teaching Matters proposal Writing Matters Improving Online Instruction Monitoring and Achievement for Urban Students was one of 40 finalists chosen from a pool of over 200 applicants Writing Matters maximizes the benefits technology can bring to underserved middle school students in the mastery of writing The proposed project will enhance the program s technology platform in order to support direct learning and differentiated instruction and to help educators capture and respond to student performance in a more timely fashion NGLC is a Read More Comments The Portico Problem In Praise of Item Level Data Analysis By Lynette Guastaferro Posted Tuesday May 24 2011 2 33pm by Dr William L Heller Using Data Program Director Cross posted on the TERC Using Data blog As a facilitator of the TERC Using Data institute I try not to play favorites among the different stages of the process Every link in the chain is important towards improving student outcomes But I must confess that I always look forward to the item level analysis with just a little extra bit of enthusiasm This is where the school based data teams that I work with are most

    Original URL path: http://www.teachingmatters.org/blog?page=4 (2016-02-13)
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