June 24, 2024


Built General Tough

Q&A Collections: Education Policy Issues (Opinion)

During the summer, I am sharing thematic posts bringing together responses on similar topics from the past 10 years. You can see all those collections from the first nine years here.

Here are the ones I’ve published so far:

The 11 Most Popular Classroom Q&A Posts of the Year

Race & Racism in Schools

School Closures & the Coronavirus Crisis

Classroom-Management Advice

Best Ways to Begin the School Year

Best Ways to End the School Year

Student Motivation & Social-Emotional Learning

Implementing the Common Core

Challenging Normative Gender Culture in Education

Teaching Social Studies

Cooperative & Collaborative Learning

Using Tech With Students

Student Voices

Parent Engagement in Schools

Teaching English-Language Learners

Reading Instruction

Writing Instruction

Today’s theme is on education policy issues. You can see the list of posts following this excerpt from one of them:

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*Teachers Share What They Want Central Offices & Public Officials to Hear

Those making policy decisions often don’t ask educators what they need. Teachers suggest ways they can be helpful to people in the trenches.

* ‘There’s a Lot of Potential Learning From Teachers Waiting to Happen’

Three educators and researchers share suggestions about how the two groups can better work together.

* What Education Researchers Can Learn From Teachers

Four educators discuss how researchers can make sure they are not asking the “wrong questions.”

* ‘The Silence of Educators Is Dangerous’

Four educators share their thoughts on the biggest dangers facing schools, including the silence of educators, often keeping mum in the “face of injustices that in our hearts and minds we know are unethical.”

* Educators Must Have a ‘Plan of Action’ to Confront Our Challenges

Three educators discuss dangers facing education today, including gun violence and teacher burnout, as well as shrinking school budgets that threaten programs and student well-being.

*’ If They’re Learning, I Don’t Care What They’re Wearing’

Here are responses to the question of how to handle school dress codes from Kelly Wickham Hurst, Jennifer Orr, Bill Ivey, Amy Sandvold, and Steven Goodman.

* The Role of Student-Test Scores in Teacher Evaluations

David Berliner, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski, Douglas Reeves, Timothy Hilton, Amanda Koonlaba, and Erin Scholes share their thoughts on the role of student-test scores in teacher evaluations.

* Ways to Improve State Standardized Tests

Douglas Reeves, Jennifer Borgioli, Kristin DeJong, Chris Gareis, and Leslie Grant explore how state standardized tests can be improved.

* Central Offices Shouldn’t Be ‘Directive Arms’

Scott Ratchford, Michael Lubelfeld, Jody Spiro, Jonas Chartock, and Victoria L. Bernhardt comment on the best roles central offices should play in providing school support.

* ‘Authoritarian-Style Mandates’ From Central Offices Don’t Work

Adeyemi Stembridge, Douglas Reeves, Amber Teamann, PJ Caposey, Rachael George, Patrick Darfler-Sweeney, and Sherry Lanza share their ideas on how school district central offices can best help schools.

* Ways to Build Partnerships Between Teachers & Researchers

Ramon Goings, Lorena German, Sally Zepeda, Jenny Grant Rankin, David Bateman, Ph.D., and Jenifer Cline, M.S., discuss how researchers and educators can work together in better ways.

* No Shortage of Education Buzzwords

Megan M. Allen, Debbie Zacarian, Joe Hendershott, Russel Tarr, Laura Greenstein, and Robert Jorczak share their thoughts about education buzzwords.

* We Could Live Without These Education Buzzwords

Rita Platt, Douglas Reeves, Jennifer Borgioli, Melissa Eddington, Mike Janatovich, Mandi White, and Tara Dale share their buzzword nominations.

* ‘Dynamic Teachers’ Unions Are Key to Assuring a World-Class Education’

Manuel Rustin, Jeffrey Garrett, Stephen Lazar, Debbie Silver, Katy Farber, and John George share their commentaries on what teachers’ unions should look like 20 years from now.

* Teachers’ Unions ‘Must Claim the Mantle of Educational Leadership’

Brian Guerrero, Nikki Milevsky, David Fisher, John Borsos, Jennifer Thomas, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, and Shannan Brown discuss the future of teachers’ unions.

* ‘Ethnic-Studies Courses Benefit All Students’

Tony Diaz, Ruchi Agarwal-Rangnath, and H. Richard Milner IV write about the importance of ethnic-studies classes.

* Policymakers Should ‘Treat Teachers Like Equals’

A four-part series on what education policymakers need to know is wrapped up with commentaries from Suzie Boss, Aba Ngissah, Meghan Everette, Tamara Fyke, and John George.

* Policymakers Need to Know There Are No ‘Easy Fixes’ in Education

Donna Wilson, Marcus Conyers, Jen Schwanke, Rachael Gabriel, Sarah Woulfin, Karen Gross, and Brian Moore write what they think policymakers are missing when it comes to education.

* ‘The Divide Between Policymakers & Educators Can Be Narrowed by Dialogue’

Barnett Berry, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Kate Sacco, Cathy Seeley, and Pia Lindquist Wong contribute their nominations for education info that decisionmakers don’t know.

* Policymakers Need to ‘Spend More Time Listening to Educators’

Jennie Magiera, Sanée Bell, Amanda Koonlaba, Matthew A. Kraft, and Douglas Reeves share their thoughts on what policymakers don’t know about schools, teachers, and students.

* The Most Exciting Things Happening in Education Are …

Tricia Hyun, Sarah Thomas, former U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr., Mandi White, and Tara Dale share their commentaries on the most exciting things happening in education today.

* ‘It’s an Exciting Time to Be an Educator’

Donna Wilson, Marcus Conyers, Rachael George, Meghan Everette, and Carolina Pérez offer their nominations for the most exciting developments in education today.

* Student & Family Engagement Is Exciting

Steve Constantino, Tom Hoerr, Cynthia “Mama J” Johnson, and Jonas Chartock wrap up a three-part series on exciting aspects of education today.

* There Is ‘Hope That ESSA Will Bring Positive Change to Classrooms’

Randi Weingarten, Barnett Berry, Morgan Polikoff, Erik M. Francis, and Jacki Gran write how they believe the Every Student Succeeds Act will affect classroom practice.

* Equity for Rural Schools Is ‘Often Ignored’

PJ Caposey, Heidi Pace, Catherine Beck, Jocelyn A. Chadwick, and Rachael George contribute their thoughts on rural education.

* Rural Schools May Be the ‘Epicenters’ of Their Towns

Silvia Ibarra, Amanda Koonlaba, Jennifer Hesseltine, and Rita Platt share their experiences working in successful low-income rural districts.

* It’s About ‘Quality, Not Quantity, of School Time’

Elliot Y. Merenbloom, Barbara A. Kalina, Thomas R. Hoerr, Erik M. Francis, Andrew Miller, and Effuah Sam contribute their ideas on extending or not extending the school year/day.

* To Extend the School Day or Not?

Matthew A. Kraft, Barry Saide, Christine Brandt, Daniel R. Venables, and Matt Renwick share their ideas on extending the school day or year.

* Community Schools ‘Transform the Lives of Children and Families’

Mark Gaither, JoAnne Ferrara, Katrina Kickbush, and Mavis G. Sanders share their thoughts on community schools, and readers who are leaders of community schools around the United States also contribute their experiences.

* New Education Ideas Must Not Be ‘Just for the Sake of Change’

Linda Denstaedt, Elise Foster, Alyssa Gallagher, Vicky Giouroukakis, Maureen Connolly, Kirke Olson, and Nancy Sulla discuss how to bridge gaps between new ideas and their implementation.

* Dos & Don’ts of Implementing New Ideas in Education

Cathy Beck, Heidi Pace, Dan Rothstein, Kathleen Neagle Sokolowski, Jaime Aquino, and Jeff Bradbury share their ideas on how to move good ideas to effective implementation.

* Looking Into Education’s Crystal Ball

Sanée Bell, Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa, Fred Ende, William Ayers, Coleen Armstrong-Yamamura, Bidyut Bose, and Erik Palmer contribute their thoughts on the future of schools and teaching.

* What Teaching in the Year 2047 Might Look Like

Diana Laufenberg, Nancy Sulla, Matt Renwick, Barnett Berry, PJ Caposey, and Ken Halla share their predictions for the future of education.

* ‘Writing a Letter Isn’t Enough’ to Affect Ed. Policy

Karen Baptiste, Eric C. Heins, Mary Tedrow, and David Griffith share their suggestions on how teachers can affect education policy decisions.

* Policy Decisions Must Be ‘Done With’ Teachers, Not ‘Done to’ Them

This post includes contributions from Randi Weingarten, Jody Spiro, Susan Ochshorn, and Meghan Everette discussing how teachers can effectively engage in educational policy decisions. I’ve also included comments by readers.

* Response: Teacher Evaluations Need to ‘Support, Not Sort’

This post includes responses from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, California Teachers Association (past) President Dean Vogel, and 2012 National Teacher of the Year Rebecca Mieliwocki.

* Using Teacher Evaluations ‘to Promote Growth’

This column features contributions from Julian Vasquez Heilig (with Lisa Hernandez), Ben Spielberg, David Berliner, and Paul Bruno.

* ‘Getting What You Pay for’ in Teacher Evaluations

W. James Popham, Barnett Berry, Pia Lindquist Wong, Rick Stiggins, and Derek Cabrera share their thoughts.

* The Teachers of Color ‘Disappearance Crisis’

Gloria Ladson-Billings, Travis J. Bristol, and Terrenda Corisa White contribute their responses here.

* ‘Education Suffers’ Without More Teachers of Color

This post highlights contributions from teachers Antoine Germany, James Pale, Dominique Williams, and Evelyn Ramos, and from student Jacquelin Estrada.

* Teachers of Color Can ‘Broaden Student Perspectives’

Teacher Ya Po Cha, teacher Elizabeth Villanueva, student-teacher Billy William Ivy, biligual aide Alma Avalos, and student Amanda Martinez provide their thoughts on the topic.

* The Value of ‘Small Learning Communities’

Ted Appel, ReLeah Cossett, PJ Caposey, and Tom Hoerr contribute their commentaries.

* ‘Teachers Don’t Leave High-Poverty Urban Districts; They Are Exiled’

Educators Pia Lindquist Wong, Rufus Thompson, Gail L. Thompson, Yvette Jackson, Veronica McDermott, Karen Baptiste, Joseph F. Johnson Jr., Cynthia L. Uline, and Lynne G. Perez contribute to this jam-packed post.

* ‘Treating Teachers as Professionals’ Is a Step Toward Reducing Attrition

This post features contributions from Mark Y. Lineberg, Doris A. Santoro, Dave F. Brown, and Patricia Jennings. I’ve also highlighted comments from readers.

* Teachers Stay Because ‘They Made a Choice to Serve’

Educators Renee Moore, Katy Farber, Sharon Jacobs, and Opal Davis Dawson share their responses.

* Educators Stay Because They ‘Tap Into Moral Dimension of Teaching’

Kathleen Budge, William Parrett, Cathie E. West, Kevin L. O’Gorman, Jacqueline E. Jacobs, and Pia Lindquist Wong contribute their commentaries.

* Ways to Reduce Teacher Attrition in High-Poverty Schools

Educators Angel Cintron and Paul Bruno contribute guest responses here.

* Building ‘Political Will’ to Retain Teachers in High-Need Schools

Barnett Berry and Ilana Garon share their thoughts in this post.

* Reducing Attrition in Urban Schools ‘by Listening to Our Teachers’

Liam Goldrick and David Orphal contribute responses, and I feature many comments from readers, too.

* Race to the Top Has Been a ‘Fiasco’

Several educators—Barnett Berry, Ariel Sacks, John Thompson, Alice Mercer, and David B. Cohen—weigh in with their thoughts on the fifth anniversary of the Race to the Top program, and I include comments from readers, too.

* Race to the Top Was a ‘Wasted Opportunity’

Educators John Kuhn and Gary Rubinstein share their thoughts on RTTT.

* ‘Teacherpreneurs Can Lead Reforms’: An Interview With Barnett Berry

I interview Barnett Berry about the book Teacherpreneurs: Innovative Teachers Who Lead but Don’t Leave (Jossey-Bass 2013) authored by Barnett and Center for Teaching Quality colleagues Ann Byrd and Alan Wieder. In it, they document the leadership journeys of eight classroom educators (several who are regular contributors to this blog) who are spreading their expertise beyond their schools, districts, and states—and even nationally and internationally.

* Ways to Observe Teachers Without Demoralizing Them

This post contains some great guest responses from four educator/authors: Trent Kaufman and Emily Dolci Grimm, PJ Caposey, and Brian Nichols.

* We Need ‘Fewer John Waynes & More John Deweys’

This is Part One in a series responding to the question: “How can teachers best relate to superintendents—and vice versa?”

This post provides responses from a teacher’s perspective, with contributions from Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; Dean Vogel, president of the California Teachers Association; and Barnett Berry of the Center for Teaching Quality.

* Teachers & Superintendents Must ‘Work to Understand Each Other’

This is Part Two and provides responses from three superintendents’ perspectives, with contributions from Joshua Starr, Pamela Moran, and John Kuhn,along with comments from readers.

* Several Ways to Balance Between District Mandates & Student Needs

This post contains an exceptional guest response from well-known educator/author Rick Wormeli.

* Finding a Balance Between District Mandates & Student Needs—Part Two

Educator/authors Kimberly Kappler Hewitt, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, and Heather Wolpert-Gawron contribute their thoughts in this post.

* Creating a Culture of Improvement With Peer Assistance & Review (PAR)

This post starts with a brief introduction to PAR from Dean Vogel, president of the California Teachers Association. Then Shannan Brown and Cheryl Dultz from the San Juan Unified school district in California and Doug Prouty from the Montgomery County public schools in Maryland explain the PAR programs in their districts.

* How Peer Assistance Can Improve Teacher Practice

This Part Two post includes American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten providing her perspective and Julie Sellers talking about a program in Cincinnati. In addition, reader Marie Costanza shares about the PAR program in Rochester, N.Y., and Brenda Sherry offers her experience in Ontario, Canada.

* Standardized-Test Critiques & Potential Alternatives

Professors David C. Berliner and Yong Zhao offer their thoughts on the topic.

* Helping Long-Term ELLs & Evaluating ELL Teachers Fairly

Katie Hull Sypnieski, the best teacher I’ve ever seen in the classroom, and staff from the American Federation of Teachers researching teacher evaluation contribute their responses.

* Several Ways to Tell the Difference Between Good & Bad Education Research

Experienced researchers Matthew Di Carlo from the Albert Shanker Institute and P. L. Thomas from Furman University discuss the issue.

* Factors Behind the Success of Ontario’s Schools—Part One

Paul Taillefer, president of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation; Vice Principal (& parent) Shannon Smith; and parent leaders Annie Kidder and Sheila Stewart share their varied comments.

* Hopes for the NEA’s “New Action Agenda”

Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association; my friend and colleague Renee Moore, who was a member of the commission that helped develop the “Agenda,” and Steve Owens, an NEA leader from Vermont, are guest contributors in this post.

* Reasons for the ‘Downgrade’ in Respect for Teachers

Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, and Barnett Berry, president of the Center for Teaching Quality, respond, and I contribute an intriguing chart.

* Factors Behind the Success of Ontario’s Schools—Part Two

Michael Fullan, professor emeritus at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto and special adviser to the premier and minister of education in Ontario, writes about what’s happening in … Ontario.

* Thoughts on Grade-Level Retention & Social Promotion

Donald Moore, the executive director of Chicago-based Designs for Change and a nationally recognized expert on the issue, shares his perspective.

* Ways the ‘Next Generation’ of Standardized Tests Should Treat ELLs

Representatives from the two groups of states preparing the new assessments, the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, or SBAC, and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers consortium, or PARCC, contribute responses.