Final Day of the 2016 National Forum on Education Policy

K-12Postsecondary & Workforce

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The final day of our annual convening was full of great highlights.

Shanna Peeples, the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, opened the day with a story about her childhood cat and how it’s an analogy to solve problems creatively with an absence of fear. And that, she said, is what we need in education.

Linda Darling-Hammond opened the teacher pipeline discussion with research from the Learning Policy Institute on teacher shortages. She said attractiveness of the profession, compensation, preparation, mentoring and teaching conditions matter in recruiting and retaining teachers. Jhanna Hayes, the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, reminded us that we are admiring the problem and that it’s time to “figure it out.” The panel also discussed issues like compensation and reciprocity.

A round of concurrent sessions covered topics from computer science to educator preparation:

  • Leadership for Improving Learning and Teaching: Research shows that leadership is a significant factor in improving student learning and teacher effectiveness. However there is no silver bullet or one leadership strategy that is effective. This session explored the conditions, culture and policies that foster effective school leadership. The discussion revolved around collaborative ways to share leadership work, how educators make decisions and how to learn about emerging trends that will shape the future of learning.
  • Measuring College Value from the Consumer Perspective and Beyond: With support from USA Funds, state leaders in Tennessee and Colorado, among other states, are taking a cutting edge look at employment data by academic program 10 years from graduation. This information is being used to advise current and prospective college students on potential earnings outcomes for their intended area of study.

Dana Goldstein, author of Teacher Wars, closed out the annual convening with a discussion on the history of the teaching profession. She talked about the unrealistic portrayals of the teaching profession in the media and that we can’t “fire our way to the top” but instead need to put programs in place to ensure teachers are effective. She concluded that we must do education reform with teachers instead of to teachers.

Make sure to check back soon for details on our 2017 National Forum of Education Policy!


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