I know TeachBreakthroughs hasn’t seen many updates lately, but just trust that it takes a lot of work to get teacher recruitment going. And boy is it going! We have close to 1,600 applications started for this summer (about 780 positions this year), and you all should know that there is a benefit to beating the crowd.
Aaannnnywaay, I’ve been reading about a new organization called the Education Equality Project. This advocacy group is a sort of “unity government” in the education debate, bringing together advocates of both the “it can be done in the classroom” and the “teachers can only do so much” camps. NYC School Chancellor Joel Klein and Rev. Al Sharpton are the public faces of this campaign, and they’ve published a series of op-eds in the last weeks leading up to tomorrow’s big day. Other signatories include new Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, John McCain, DC Mayor Fenty (Michelle Rhee’s boss), Newt Gingrich, and friend-of-Breakthrough-mayor-of-Newark Cory Booker.
The EEP’s effort seems aimed at marshalling the spirit of bipartisanship and pragmatism toward the education reforms that most people can agree on. Namely, innovative charter schools and some sort of strong evaluative system for teachers.
Today’s piece for The New Republic is a good read.
The president-elect has also shown a keen awareness of the need to train, recruit, and reward highly effective teachers in undeserved urban schools. Studies have repeatedly shown that good teachers have the greatest impact on student learning—and urban school reform cannot ultimately succeed without reforming the teaching profession. As president-elect Obama pointed out during the campaign, “the single most important factor in determining [student] achievement is not the color of their skin or where they come from. It’s not who their parents are or how much money they have—it’s who their teacher is.”