Prewriting Prompt How might we go about improving the quality of the teaching workforce?
The Rubber Room The battle over New York City’s worst teachers. by Steven BrillSteven Brill One school principal has said that Randi Weingarten, of the teachers’ union,“would protect a dead body in the classroom.” The Media View of the Human Capital Problem
A Broader View of the Human Capital Pipeline It’s not all about rubber rooms! Six parts of the human capital puzzle: 1.Recruitment 2.Training 3.Evaluation 4.Retention 5.Growth 6.Distribution
What are the different parts of a Human Capital system? Pre-service training Recruitment, selection, and placement Induction and On-boarding Ongoing PD, Support, and Training Performance Evaluation CompensationWorking conditions and environment Career and professional growth Preparation (traditional univ., alt pathways, residencies) Selection for prep programs District and school recruitment efforts Hiring policies and practices Placement and assignment policies Training in first 1, 2, or 3 years Acculturation to “way of doing” Professional development policies Professional development opportunities Evaluation instruments (value-added, observations, other measures) Use of evaluations to develop staff, promote high performers, dismiss low performers Pay tied to performance Policies related to seniority pay, pay for master’s degrees Growth of pay scale Working conditions measurements Professional environment Leadership support Culture building Career pathways to continue to develop (in and out of classroom) Coaching and mentoring Support systems and leadership development Decentralized support systems offered by others (nonprofit service providers, technical assistance providers) Centralized support systems offered by district (programs, mentorship, and career development) Approach to leadership development Transforming and sustaining professional culture (A) Educator Preparation, “Entry into the Profession” (B) Performance Management, “Career Growth, Support, and Retention” (C) Leadership Development, “Building Capacity” Source: EdLd Human Capital Presentation, October, 2010
1. Recruitment: Attracting Teachers Possible strategies: Pay (see McKinsey 2010 study) Changing the culture of teaching British ad campaign Making it difficult/prestigious to become a teacher (TFA) Making teaching as a whole more selective (conventional professionalization) Flexner report style National Board of Professional Teaching Standards INTASC – State teaching standards
2. Initial Training of Teachers Variety of approaches Traditional, alternative, residencies Schools and depts of ed: 220,000 per year Alternative cert and residency: 10,000 per year As you’ve seen, more variation within types than across program types. Rather, some consistent elements of good practice: Subject matter knowledge Extensive clinical preparation (see recent NCATE report) Mentored induction Assessment of program effectiveness and feedback
Teacher Prep Programs Becoming More Linked to Outcomes Teacher preparation becoming more linked to outcomes NCATE (accrediting body for teacher prep institutions) emphasizing more clinical work Teacher You (or Teacher U) – collaboration between KIPP, Ach First, Uncommon, and Hunter College Louisiana – measure teacher prep by test scores of the teachers they produce These decisions really matter: Teacher policy project study finds that difference between average and best teacher prep institutions equivalent to difference between poor and middle class classroom
3a. Selection of Teachers Current ideas: Extend the time to tenure Make it more like university tenure or partner at a law firm Open the pathways to entry, but tighten the bars for selection Evaluation (cameo from teacher evaluation group) Mixed methods Observations (objectivity challenges) Value added test scores (psychometric challenges) Other quantitative data
3b. Evaluation of Teachers Formal quantitative evaluations Observations (objectivity challenges) Value added test scores (psychometric challenges) Principal decision-making Pros: Less cumbersome, more holistic judgments Cons: Favoritism, subjectivity, lack of basis for judgment Peer assistance and review Began in Cincinnati in the 1980s Teachers tend to be tough on other teachers Fears of fox guarding the henhouse
4. Retention While aspiring teachers value pay, existing teachers value working conditions No phone or desk Respect from students, students who are willing to work and think Opportunities for collaboration Retention tied to school success Need to feel part of a successful organization
5. Growth, career ladders Merit pay vs. career ladders: Merit pay – differences in pay based on measured quality Unpopular with teachers and unions Career ladders Changing growth and scope of teacher responsibility With increasing responsibility comes increasing pay Popular with teachers and unions Ongoing job-embedded professional development Sabbaticals and other opportunities to improve practice
6. Distribution of teachers The previous was largely about attracting good teachers Serious problem of distribution of good teachers, b/c with pay and seniority comes the right to move to more affluent districts In comparison to more affluent schools, poorer schools have fewer: Experienced teachers Certified teachers In field teachers Teachers who score high on certification exams
Policies to attract/retain top teachers Singapore Finland South Korea U.S. Selective admissions to teacher training X X X Most programs are not selective. Government paid teacher trainingX X Students finance own education. Government regulates supply of teachers to match demand X X X Oversupply of teachers. Professional working environment X X X Variable working conditions. Competitive compensation X X Compensation not attractive to many students. Cultural respect accorded to teaching X X X Respect not comparable to other nations. Teaching considered as a long-term career X X X Relatively high attrition in early years. Robust opportunities for career advancement X Limited opportunities for advancement. Performance pay for teachers X X Limited performance pay. Source: McKinsey (2010) Needed Changes to the American Human Capital Pipeline
Politics: Are Unions Helpful or Harmful Towards Achieving Better Human Capital Policies? sdfa
Politics: Are Unions Helpful or Harmful Towards Achieving Better Human Capital Policies? DimensionsHelpfulHarmful Attracting good new teachers Push pay upImage Training new teachersSupport for residencies, clinics, induction Opposition to alternative certification EvaluationOpposition to overweighting test scores Resisting any meaningful evaluation Resisting removal of ineffective teachers RetentionSupport for better working conditions None Growth, career devtSupport for career laddersOpposition to merit pay? Distribution of good teachers NoneProtect seniority in transfer policies
The Missing Link: Human Capital is Not an Issue in a Vacuum What other aspects of school reform are linked to the human capital question? sfads
The Missing Link: Human Capital is Not an Issue in a Vacuum What other aspects of school reform are linked to the human capital question? Accountability and testing Can’t “deskill” the profession Leadership and the creation of high quality schools People need good organizations in which to work Knowledge profession? Opportunities to grow knowledge; deepen practice
New Topic: The Future of the Teaching Profession?
What does it mean to teach today? To teach means to: Take responsibility for 3-4 groups of 20-30 students at a time Teach them all the same thing Do all of the functions entailed in teaching them (preparing, lecturing, grading, etc.). Take responsibility for all of the learning for a class for a year or at least a semester.
There are a number of problems with this model They include: More students than teachers can handle Sizer -- Horace’s compromise – “treaties” Students learn at very different rates and are interested in different things – our current system doesn’t handle this well The functions in teaching range from photocopying to correcting papers to delivering content – is it efficient for one professional to do all of these things?
Bundled and Unbundled Bundled – Things come pre-assembled – everyone gets the same package of stuff Example 1 (school level): Textbooks are a bundle Example 2 (system level): District mandates are bundled Unbundled – Things come in pieces, and you choose how they might be assembled or put together Example 1 (school level): Lots of mini-lessons which the teacher or student assembles is unbundled Example 2( system level) : New Orleans is unbundled (lots of decision points)
A Thought Experiment: So What if We Unbundled All of the Things in Teaching? 1.Split up the functions of teaching (add more paraprofessionals): Instructing Preparing Grading/responding to student work Taking care of students’ social needs Example: Match school
A Thought Experiment: So What if We Unbundled All of the Things in Teaching? 2.Split up the content of teaching (School of One) Have teachers teach to standards within subjects Specialization Multiple groups of students with the same teacher on the same standards 3. Vary the modalities of teaching across teachers (School of One) Some teachers exclusively lectures Others work exclusively in small groups Others might facilitate remote content (and be paid accordingly)
A Thought Experiment: So What if We Unbundled All of the Things in Teaching? 4.Student unbundling Smaller periods – many more choices in content Lots of mini-lessons Choose your own adventure
What Problems Might This Model Solve? 1. We could get by with fewer “superpeople” 2. It respects teachers by taking away some of their more menial duties 3. It would help to avoid burnout, by structuring roles more sensibly 4. It respects differences in students interests and learning styles. 5. Specialization might lead to higher quality
What Are the Challenges to This Model? 1. Asks too much of students vis a vis independent work 2. Union resistance to differentiating teacher roles 3. Cultural resistance to differentiating teacher roles 4. General institutional conservatism in education (no Carnegie units, etc.) 5. Physical space not ready for this kind of change
Unbundled Schooling: All of Nothing Infrastructure unbundling Student unbundling Teacher unbundling
How would the human capital pipeline look different in an unbundled world? Six parts of the human capital puzzle: 1.Recruitment 2.Training 3.Evaluation 4.Retention 5.Growth 6.Distribution
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