Ten years ago, TNTP published a report that changed our organization in a permanent way. We just wanted to disprove what we saw as widely believed myths with rich data; instead, Missed Opportunities caused us to make policy research a core component of our work.
A decade ago, a tangle of policies and practices prevented many city schools from hiring teachers until weeks or days before the school year began. In the decade since we published "Missed Opportunities," school leaders have made great strides toward hiring teachers early. Today, a Memphis principal reflects on the benefits.
When we published "Missed Opportunities" in 2003, teacher shortages in urban districts were assumed to be caused by a dearth of qualified applicants. But we quickly discovered that that was not true—and there were things districts could do to hire top candidates.
In the arena of public debate, education debates have devolved into "corporate reformers" versus the "status quo." Almost none of the vocabulary is broadly accurate, and the constant misrepresentation of ideas has so dumbed down the conversation, we can't talk honestly.
Teacher evaluation reform and Common Core implementation seem like separate challenges, but they are two sides of the same coin. In a new paper, we recommend adopting new, streamlined classroom observation rubrics, to help support teachers as they transition to the Common Core.
For decades, the teaching profession has relied on a work now, pay later system: low salaries up front, based on promised raises for sticking around and eventual pension payouts. In the face of unfunded pension liabilities, this is an increasingly bad deal for teachers.
The Fishman Prize does more than just honor exceptional teachers. As a 2013 winner explains, it provides an opportunity to learn and grow, and challenges winners to articulate what makes their practice effective, and then share that vision with a wide audience.
A new report by NCTQ shows just how far evaluation policy reform has come since we published The Widget Effect four years ago. But better policies are just the start: putting them into practice will require a significant cultural shift, and great deal of work on the ground.