In the final installment of Marc Tucker’s blog series on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, Gene Wilhoit, the former Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, discusses the need to transform how we recruit, train, and develop our teachers and the consequences of failing to do so.
Wilhoit and Tucker strongly support the idea of teachers collaborating with colleagues to work through difficulties and to spur each other on toward professional growth.
Following is an excerpt from the post:
First, this issue of how we expect teachers to use their time is one of the most important differences between our system and the systems in the top-performing countries. When I first started visiting schools in the top-performing countries, one of the first things I noticed was that those countries understand that sustained conversations among teachers are critical to the improvement of student learning. Something has to give to accommodate that. For example, districts in the United States decided to make reduction of the ratio of students to teachers a very high priority. We do not have unlimited resources, so conversations about what we compromise to capture precious time will be very hard, but it is very important to do so.
Beyond the issue of time, like you, I noticed how other countries identify the best in the profession and give them leadership responsibilities and the opportunity to mentor new and underperforming teachers.
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