Monday, December 24, 2012

A teacher’s advice to the Legislature in 2013 | EdSource Today

A teacher’s advice to the Legislature in 2013 | EdSource Today:

David B. Cohen
Looking ahead to the next legislative session, it appears likely we’ll have a replay of some of the education policy debates of 2012. Here are my recommendations for how the Legislature might avoid pitfalls and advance positive changes in education policy next year.
First, do no harm. In the name of accountability, some legislators will be tempted to make laws that increase pressure on schools and teachers. We all want better results from the public school system, but “get-tough” measures dropped on an already overstressed system and workforce won’t get us there. Over a period of years when communities, families and students have experienced greater need for support, we’ve dramatically decreased the capacity of schools to serve these needs. This is not the time to rally around an adversarial approach to school improvement or teaching quality.
Focus evaluations on professional development. Teacher evaluations have become a