What were the Most Innovative Improvements to the Teaching Profession in 2014?
Public education in America needs teachers that are better trained to meet the needs of specific student populations, and those that are willing to speak up to facilitate classroom change. Without these teachers, effective reform to meet global demand is not possible. It stands to reason that if students are changing, teachers need to change too. There are policy and practice changes taking place all over the world – many driven by teachers – that address the cultural shifts in the classroom. Some that showed a lot of promise in 2014 included:
Sacramento teachers and their input in the evaluation model. California’s Sacramento City school district and the teachers association signed a tentative agreement to develop a model for teacher evaluations. This marked a turning point between the school district and teachers association who have had a strained relationship since the district placed a bid to link student scores to teacher evaluations as part of the federal waiver. Other districts across the country should take a cue from this collaboration. School districts and teachers should work together to develop the best model for teacher evaluations.
North Carolina teachers’ petition for better pay. Public school advocates in North Carolina created a petition campaign seeking to increase teacher pay to the national average. According to the National Education Association’s ranking from 2012-2013, the average North Carolina teacher salary is around $46,000, 46th in the U.S. The nation’s average salary is over $55,000. The campaign netted 61,000 signatures.
Many teachers in this country are grossly underpaid. I like to see parents of students and other school advocates joining forces to see an increase in pay for North Carolina’s teachers, some of the lowest paid in the country. I hope these hard working teachers see some additional compensation in the next few years.
What innovative moves to improve teacher education made your list in 2014?