Looking to Teachers as Primary Sources for Feedback on Education Reform
Who better to ask about the state of education than teachers themselves? Scholastic has teamed up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
to ask teachers for their feedback on topics such as raising student achievement, teacher evaluation, and providing resources for teachers. Primary Sources: 2012, America’s Teachers on the Teaching Profession
(PDF) compiles the results of these surveys and offers critical insight into how educators, administrators, and parents can play an important role in improving America’s school system.
The first section of the report focuses on what would boost student achievement. The most important factors identified by teachers were parent involvement and setting high expectations for students. Common standards, a clear curriculum, and strong assessments also appeared on the list. While methods for improving parent involvement could still be addressed, the new Common Core State Standards will introduce a new set of expectations for students at each grade level and will provide focused and coherent guidelines for teachers. Still, many of the teacher respondents feel unprepared for implementing the CCSS.
Twenty-seven percent of teachers surveyed feel somewhat/very unprepared to teach the standards, and only twenty-two percent say they feel very prepared. Among the tools that teachers say they need to effectively implement the CCSS are student-centered technology, formative assessments, and new curricula and learning tools aligned to the Common Core.
Check out the full report for teachers’ views on standardized tests, the growing challenges that students face in and out of the classroom, and how to retain the best teachers. How prepared do you feel for the CCSS? Do you have other ideas for how to make teachers more effective in the classroom?