Support independent journalism
Education news. In context.
Building Better Schools
From the Statehouse
Beyond High School
Funding & Finance
In the Classroom
Politics & Policy
Sorting the Students
Rise & Shine
Building Better Teachers
Support independent journalism
June 26, 2017
Common Core is out. Tennessee Academic Standards are in. Here’s how teachers are prepping for the change.
About 6,000 teachers get a two-day crash course on changes in math and English language arts standards that will reach Tennessee classrooms this fall.
An education U-turn
June 22, 2017
Carmen Fariña wants to help New York City teachers get better at teaching. But some of her own reforms are getting in the way
The chancellor’s emphasis on teaching the teachers marks a radical shift from the preceding administration.
May 25, 2017
Frustrated with high suspension rates, Memphis schools shift to restorative justice
Taking a cue from Nashville, Memphis school leaders are working to change the way their educators discipline students in Shelby County Schools.
teaching the teachers
February 8, 2017
Colorado educators will soon be required to take training for teaching English learners
The training will be part of the regular teacher license renewal process.
December 15, 2016
Teacher prep conversation already changing under Tennessee’s new ratings
The user-friendly version aims to provide transparency and understanding about the quality of teacher training programs across the state.
October 12, 2016
How Denver’s school tax increase could help teacher aides become teachers and diversify the workforce
A new DPS initiative helps teacher’s aides earn a degree and a license while keeping their jobs for most of the time they’re in school.
August 2, 2016
Home visits help Memphis teachers know their students before the first bell rings
Teacher training at Memphis Delta Prep includes early home visits with families and students who will attend the K-4 charter school opening in August.
July 29, 2016
How do you get students fired up about fractions? Reinvent math class.
Twenty-one teachers spent a week this summer learning to conduct math classes by facilitating conversations with students.
July 20, 2016
One Manhattan school just won $25,000 for boosting teacher collaboration
“Teaching was never set up as a profession where you’re leading, and that’s a core problem,” said Lynette Guastaferro, executive director at Teaching Matters.
June 23, 2016
How three veteran New York City educators are trying to change the way math teachers are trained
“We learned a lot from watching each other teach,” said math lab co-founder Peter Cipparone. “That seems like a very simple practice, but it’s amazing how rare that is.”
June 16, 2016
Memphis Teacher Residency launches new training program
Almost 300 teachers and graduates of the teacher residency program will have access to a new training program this year called MTRUniversity.
April 27, 2016
Relay Graduate School launches alternative teacher training programs in Nashville
The school's second Tennessee campus will add another path to teaching careers in the state's second-largest school district.
new york state of mind
April 11, 2016
As Teach for America shifts, training for New York recruits is headed back to the city
The new training will focus on making sure recruits understand the communities in which they will work, according to TFA New York's director.
February 22, 2016
As Teach For America marks 10 years in Memphis, contract with Shelby County Schools faces scrutiny under tight budget
The recruiting organization expects to feed about 130 new teachers to Shelby County Schools next year if the school board votes to approve the contract.
January 26, 2016
After more than a year of review, here’s what’s being recommended to revise Common Core in Tennessee
A state panel sends its recommended revisions to K-12 academic standards to the State Board of Education for a first vote on Friday.
November 19, 2015
Memphis Teacher Residency to share national platform under Gates grant
Memphis Teacher Residency will expand its impact under a $35 million initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve teacher education across the nation.
October 1, 2015
Educators warn dual credit courses could dry up after rule change for teachers
Starting in 2017, dual-credit teachers will need master’s degrees in the subject they teach or a master’s degree in another area with extra credits in their subject.
August 20, 2015
Tennessee rolls out sweeping literacy initiatives amid stagnant reading scores
Calling Tennessee's stagnant literacy rates a "true ethical and moral dilemma," Candice McQueen discusses her first major initiative as education commissioner.
War on illiteracy
July 30, 2015
This year, Shelby County students will read, read … and read
To address abysmal literacy rates in Memphis schools, the district will implement its comprehensive literacy improvement plan this school year.
July 20, 2015
A growing summer camp aims to start Memphis’s teacher pipeline earlier
The summer children's camp is designed to get kids excited about learning — and to recruit potential educators to Memphis to work one day as classroom teachers.
July 1, 2015
City launches school-support centers, a key element of Fariña’s system shakeup
Chancellor Carmen Fariña’s redesigned system for supporting and overseeing schools entered a new phase Wednesday with the official launch of seven new help centers.
May 20, 2015
Teachers value National Board certification, but Indiana lawmakers don't
Indiana is far behind the rest of the country for the number of National Board certified teachers, frustrating those who believe it can help teachers reach new heights.
May 15, 2015
Survey: Marion County teachers not satisfied with training
Indianapolis schools spent more than $11 million last year on teacher training, but a new survey suggests that most teachers aren't satisfied with it.
Breaking the Cycle
May 4, 2015
In areas with high rates of domestic violence, teachers to get special training
Teachers at "community schools" in eight neighborhoods across the city will receive the training, which is still being developed.
March 18, 2015
Educators praise decision to leave dyslexia training bill largely unchanged
Educator Denise Lessow spent much of today worried that legislators would amend a bill intended to help teachers recognize students struggling with dyslexia in ways…
March 4, 2015
Rise & Shine: Vouchers sail through first House hurdle
February 27, 2015
IPS teachers push for better training during extra work days
Educators say IPS's professional development offerings need to be vastly improved before teachers get on board with the idea of expanding the calendar.
January 26, 2015
Lilly Endowment gives The Mind Trust $3.4 million to expand Teach for America, The New Teacher Project
Teacher training programs Teach for America and The New Teacher Project could grow their ranks in Indianapolis by more than 300 educators thanks to a…
January 22, 2015
Candice McQueen on her challenges and goals as Tennessee’s new education commissioner
The former classroom teacher talks about her admiration for teachers, as well the many complex issues awaiting her time and attention.
January 16, 2015
Push for bilingual pre-K classrooms gains strength as city expands both programs
The city's dual-language programs are something of a citywide secret, though there is strong research on the educational power of those programs for young learners.
Q & A
August 4, 2014
Chalkbeat CEO and author Elizabeth Green on teaching, the Common Core, and more
Read an interview with Chalkbeat CEO Elizabeth Green about her new book, "Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (And How to Teach It to Everyone)," then join the conversation.
July 11, 2014
City plans Bank Street teacher training ahead of fall pre-K push
As Mayor Bill de Blasio readies the city for a prekindergarten expansion this fall, thousands of teachers will go through training at Bank Street…
June 27, 2014
City to offer summer technology courses for teachers
In an effort to bring more technology to the classroom, Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced on Friday that teachers can apply for free training run…
June 17, 2014
Report: New York moving quickly to change teacher prep policies
A report released Tuesday praised New York state for moving more quickly than other states toward stricter teacher preparation policies. The report, released by…
March 10, 2014
Identifying talented teachers: what is talent?
This lack of certainty around what exactly makes a quality teacher is why one educator is worried that some reforms proposed for teacher preparation may box us into tight requirements with unintended consequences.
January 14, 2014
Educators blast teacher certification rules
Opponents of changes to teacher licensing, which were pushed through by former state Superintendent Tony Bennett as one of his final acts before leaving…
June 27, 2013
SLIDESHOW: ELA Academy wrapping up in Denver
Check out a slideshow and story about Denver's ELA Academy and what students and teachers are learning in the hands-on courses.
September 11, 2012
With federal funds lost, city sending trainees to stronger schools
Chancellor Dennis Walcott talks to teachers at M.S. 223 while principal Ramon Gonzalez looks on during a visit last week. M.S. 223 is working with nine teaching residents this year. A program to train and keep new teachers inside some of the city's most struggling schools is expanding to include better-performing schools as well. The New York City Teacher Residency launched last summer at two schools that were receiving federal funds earmarked for overhauling struggling schools. The point of the program, city officials said at the time, was to create a talent pipeline for schools that have trouble attracting teachers. But because the city and its teachers union did not agree on a new teacher evaluation system by a state deadline, the funds were cut off in January. The city is going forward with plans to double the size of the residency program anyway, but instead of sending new residents only to struggling schools, it is also directing them to schools that the city has touted as success stories. And it is picking up the bill out of the Department of Education's regular budget. The department opened the program to stronger schools in order to expose the teachers-in-training to a wider range of "best practices" and mentorship from experienced teachers, officials said. "Think, what would it actually be like if these teachers were trained at a successful school instead of at a failing school?" said Ashley Downs, the special education director at M.S. 223 in the Bronx who is helping to mentor that school's nine residents.
August 23, 2012
Some city schools look for support to boost teacher leadership
For many of the city's strongest teachers, moving up professionally means moving out of the classroom and on to jobs in school management, consulting, policy, or academia. That was the conclusion of a recent survey from the New Teacher Project on the challenges districts face retaining teachers who have hit their stride. The Department of Education is in the early stages of several experiments to encourage those teachers to stay in schools, offering higher-level professional development and sometimes higher pay. But some school leaders don't want to wait to give their teachers opportunities to improve their leadership practices. Enter the National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education, a fledgling training program for teachers who have already demonstrated strength and commitment to the profession, but want to improve even more. For the past two years they have offered teachers around the country an intensive leadership training workshop tailored to the experiences of classroom instructors. This year, six city teachers joined a cohort of 50 in Chicago, for a two week long summer seminar series. The curriculum is split between teaching skills and leadership skills like public speaking and improvisation, and peppered with business school-style case study reading assignments, according to Deborah Levitsky, the program director. The idea is to help them to think deeper about non-supervisory leadership roles, such as grade-level team leaders and department chairs. The program runs for two years, with a winter weekend-long meetup and at-home reading and writing assignments.
September 28, 2011
Tech discounts to help state teacher centers offer digital training
Teach for America members aren't the only teachers to start getting digital tools from a technology giant. A new partnership between a statewide network of teacher training centers and Microsoft will give teachers access to discounted computer hardware and software, and help using them. Announced this week, the Tech4Teachers program will flood New York State Teacher Centers with new technology options at lower than market-rates. There are 250 center sites in New York City and 130 more throughout the state, offering in-person and virtual assistance to public and private school teachers. Microsoft's assistance comes at a time when state budget cuts have constrained resources at the teacher centers, which provide professional support in the form of online and face-to-face training to teachers across the state. The centers were cut from last year's state budget, but this year the Assembly budgeted $20.5 million for them, approximately half of what the centers have been funded for in the past, according to Gail Moon, the state's acting teacher centers program director. Though the centers receive support from the state's teachers union and some local unions, including the United Federation of Teachers, they primarily rely on the state for funding. The partnership with Microsoft may alleviate some of the financial stress on teacher centers, staff members said, adding that the stress is particularly sharp now that the centers are tasked with helping teachers and networks understand new instructional standards and integrate technology in their classroom. "The way we're looking at doing that is using technology by offering more webinars, electronic video conferencing capabilities, more professional development to more people, and then reducing the cost," said Stan Silverman, co-chair of the centers' technology committee. Silverman said he will also use the program to show state legislators that teachers centers need more resources.
September 14, 2011
To transform failing schools, new teachers take up residence
A Bank of America employee, a fashion industry veteran, and a 311 operator are among the newest additions to the city's teaching corps. They are among 26 people being eased into the classroom through a new city program designed to train – and retain – high-quality teachers specifically for the city's worst-performing schools. Launched with little fanfare this summer, the NYC Teaching Residency for School Turnaround is the city's latest effort to attract talent using an alternative certification program. But unlike the city's NYC Teaching Fellows program, the residency isn't throwing its trainees straight into the classroom. Nor is it quickly relieving them from their obligation to the city. Instead, the program requires them to make a lengthier commitment, but only after they've spent a year working as assistants to in the classroom. The teachers-in-training have been dispersed into two schools undergoing federally-funded "transformation" — Queens Vocational and Technical High School and J.H.S. 22 Jordan L. Mott — and are part of an experimental effort to overhaul schools deemed "persistently low-achieving" by the state. Borrowing heavily from models that preceeded it in recent years, the program comes amid a growing nationwide focus on improving both the teacher quality and retention rates in high-needs urban schools.
December 22, 2009
Tisch's dissertation gives clues into teacher training overhaul
Not long before Merryl Tisch became head of the state's public schools, she was a student herself, at Teachers College. There she wrote a doctoral dissertation on what would become her pet issue, teacher training. The dissertation offers a window into Tisch's oft-cited critique of teacher preparation — one that is far more robust and detailed than the stock line she uses in speeches. Publicly, Tisch and education commissioner David Steiner have offered a barebones roadmap for changing how teachers are prepared. Last month, the Board of Regents approved an expansion of the number of alternative teacher certification programs in the state, opening the door for non-university programs to certify teachers. Steiner has often spoken of increasing classroom-based training, and Tisch told me in an interview that the Board would seek programs "with a track record of success." But the Board hasn't been more specific about what they will look for in these programs, or how many they seek to approve, or what exactly a training program completed without the aid of a college or university will look like.
November 16, 2009
State plans to link teacher certification to student performance
The New York State Board of Regents wants to certify new teachers based on their students' academic achievement in their first two years of teaching, Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch and Education Commissioner David Steiner announced today. The proposal came as part of a plan to overhaul the way teachers are trained and placed in classrooms that state officials hope will help them win competitive federal Race to the Top grant money. Under the plan, a new teacher would also face a tougher set of tests and must prove to the state that he or she is ready to enter the classroom before receiving their initial certification, possibly through portfolios of lesson plans and videotaped teaching sessions. "Instead of just a paper and pencil test, instead of looking simply at course credits, instead of waiting until the last semester for a formal experience of student teaching that has a different caliber of qualities associated with it, we want to use these performance assessments to ensure that our candidates for teaching have the skills that matter," Steiner said in a press conference today.
October 5, 2009
Steiner's challenge: how to make big change from little money
David Steiner is making raising standards and the overhaul of teacher preparation his major goals as education commissioner. But his ambitious agenda for reform may be slowed by a grim financial climate and a large, unwieldy bureaucracy, education leaders said in interviews last week. Steiner, who was sworn in as commissioner of the New York State Education Department last Thursday, has long argued for making the teacher certification process more rigorous and for adding more in-the-classroom experience for teachers in training. In his first moments in office, he acknowledged that he has a difficult mandate. But he also pointed to circumstances that he said would help push his agenda forward. "A lot of powerful forces are coming together," Steiner told reporters. He noted that the state Board of Regents and the federal government seem to be aligned in a strong commitment to raising academic standards and that he thought parents were becoming more committed to their children's education than ever before. "So while this is a very challenging moment, fiscally and otherwise, it's also a moment of extraordinary opportunity," he said.
RISE & SHINE
You are now subscribed!