Teacher/Teaching Issues

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Teacher and Teaching Issues

Here you will find a variety of research and stories that pertain to teachers and the teaching profession. Posting here does not imply Georgia Partnership endorsement.  Entries go back to 2016.  Broken links should be reported here.

2017

When Teachers Are Better at Raising Test Scores, Their Students Are Less Happy, Study Says
Chalkbeat

Is a good teacher one who allows students to enjoy the experience or one who is more strict and has high standards? And are those two types even at odds? (November 7)

School Leadership Counts
New Teacher Center

School and teacher leaders increase student achievement. Related story. (October 31)

2017 Educator Quality of Life Work Survey
American Federation of Teachers and Badass Teachers Association

This survey indicates a high level of stress in the profession. Related story. (October 30) 

The Power of Teacher Expectations
Education Next

Study suggests teachers' attitudes are not color blind and influence who succeeds in higher education. Related story. (October 27)

If We Want Excellent Teachers, We Need Excellent Teacher Educators
Teacher Preparation Transformation Centers - Education First

Teachers are students too and need expert instruction to increase their classroom expertise.  So, how do we address this need? Introduction. (October 19)

Does Low Pay Shut Teachers Out of the Housing Market?
National Council on Teacher Quality

Teachers' salaries are always in the news but in the past several months there has been a focus on housing affordability. (October 17)

U.S. Teachers' Support of Their State Standards and Assessments - Findings from the American Teacher Panel
Rand Corporation

This study providers district and state policymakers insight as they address issues surrounding standards and assessments. Related story. (October 12)

Survey:  Daily Ed-Tech Classroom Use on the Rise
eSchool News

Sixty-three percent of teachers use ed-tech in their classrooms, an eight percentage point jump since just last year. (October 6)

Diversifying the Classroom: Examining the Teacher Pipeline
Urban Institute

The teacher workforce in the United States remains predominantly white, although the student population is becoming increasingly diverse. (October 5)

Teacher Preparation Data Systems
Southern Regional Education Board

Building strong data systems on the education and early careers of teachers may be the single best way to improve teacher preparation. Introduction. (September 26)

Teacher Absenteeism in Charter and Traditional Public Schools
Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Teacher absences impact learning and U.S. teachers have a bad reputation compared to business counterparts.  This study compares charter and traditional public school teachers.  Who was better?  Introduction. (September 20)

How One Group is Working to Build a More Diverse Teaching Force
NPR-Ed

Although minorities have joined the nation's teaching force in greater numbers, they are still underrepresented in U.S. classrooms.  A former education dean is out to change that. (September 20)

Teacher License Reciprocity
Education Commission of the States

This report details what is expected across the nation from out-of-state teacher candidates.  (September 19)

Teachers' Pay: What On Earth Are We Thinking?
Education Week

(Free registration or paid subscription required.) The title says it all.  U.S. teachers are woefully underpaid in comparison to others with similar education levels. (September 14)

Scrutinizing Equal Pay for Equal Work for Teachers
Brookings

This paper examines inequalities of teacher compensation and explores its relationships to inequalities in both school funding and pensions. Related story. (September 11) 

Using Data to Ensure That Teachers Are Learner Ready on Day One
Data Quality Campaign

This report highlights how states can lead the way by making sure the right information is available to those who need it and that leaders have the skills to use that information for continuous teacher improvement, not just accountability. Introduction. (August 3)

Here's How Much Teachers Make in Each State
Money Talks

Ever wondered what teachers make across the country?  Are you a teacher who has thought what could I earn in another state?  Check this story. (July 15)

Impact of The New Teacher Project's Teaching Fellows in Urban School Districts
American Institutes for Research

This report looks at the results these teachers get - after a 6-8 week training period - in comparison to other traditionally trained teachers. (July 7)

How Do You Know When a Teaching Strategy is Most Effective? John Hattie Has An Idea.
Mind/Shift

Untangling education research can often feel overwhelming, which may be why many research-based practices take a long time to show up in real classrooms. (June 19)

5 Reasons Why Every Day Should be Teacher Appreciation Day
Huffington Post

There are about a million reasons to love teachers. I have to say one commonality I’ve seen among the most talented classroom teachers I know is their belief and investment in high standards, for both themselves and their students. (May 9)

Georgia Teacher Now Teaching in China
An Interview with Katelyn Warner

We recently had the good fortune of meeting a young Georgia teacher who decided to pursue an opportunity to teach in China.  Katelyn Warner formerly taught at Hembree Springs  Elementary School (Fulton County). f you have other questions for Katelyn, drop us a note.

A Quarter Century of Changes in the Elementary and Secondary Teaching Force - Statistical Analysis Report
Institute of Education Sciences

This statistical analysis shows the number of minority teachers more than doubled in the United States over a 25-year period but still represent less than 20 percent of the country’s elementary and secondary school teaching force, a new statistical analysis of data shows. Related story. (April 17)

Teacher Merit Pay and Student Test Scores: A Meta-Analysis
Vanderbilt University

Heaps of conflicting studies exist on whether teacher incentive pay improves student performance. Now after wading through decades of findings, researchers at Vanderbilt University have come to a conclusion. It does. Related story. (April 14)

Why Even Great Teaching Strategies Can Backfire and What to Do About It
Mind/Shift

Educators often look for classroom inspiration from instructional strategies that “work,” focusing on how many students improved based on a given strategy. While that’s important and helpful, focusing only on how a strategy works, without examining why it didn’t work for some learners, is a missed opportunity. (March 27)

The Right Tool for the Job: Improving Reading and Writing in the Classroom
Thomas B. Fordham Institute

This provides in-depth reviews of several promising digital learning tools. Fordham focused the series on English language arts (ELA) resources, as educators stress that those are particularly difficult to come by, especially writing tools. Introduction. (March 16)

Maureen Downey's 'Get Schooled' Blog: A young teacher.  A troubled teen. A career at stake. Perils of trying to help students.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(Subscription may be required.) Samantha Major’s saga reflects the pitfalls facing teachers who step forward, who go above and beyond to help students. Major was warned by colleagues that the 15-year-old student seeking her out was deeply troubled, but the young teacher thought she could help. The decision may cost the 26-year-old her career. Palm Beach Post story. (February 28)

Indianapolis is Experimenting With a New Kind of Teacher - And It Is Transforming This School
Chalkbeat

School 107 is one of six district schools piloting the opportunity culture program, which allows principals to pay experienced teachers as much as $18,000 extra each year to support other classrooms. Next year, the program will expand to 10 more schools. (February 21) 

Running in Place: How New Teacher Evaluations Fail to Live Up to Promises
National Council on Teacher Policy

This report finds that within the 30 states that require student learning measures to be at least a significant factor in teacher evaluations, state guidance and rules in most states allow teachers to be rated effective even if they receive low scores on the student learning component of the evaluation. Introduction. (January 25)

2016

Teacher Observations Have Been a Waste of Time and Money
Brookings

Fundamental information that is the basis for evaluating the performance of our K-12 education system is sending different signals. Measures of student achievement point to low levels and meager improvement. Measures of teaching indicate nearly every teacher is effective. But teachers are the most important input to learning—something’s amiss. (December 12) 

Teacher Race and School Discipline
EducationNext

Across the United States, black and Latino students are far more likely than their white classmates to be removed from school as punishment. Related story. (November 3)

The Failing First Line of Defense
The Atlantic

Teachers are often the first adults students turn to when struggling with mental health, but educators are not adequately trained to address the crises. (October 19)

Teachers Wanted, Needed, Underappreciated
Georgia Trend

Georgia's teacher shortage is felt in every corner of the state, a consequence of the economy, poor working conditions and an over-emphasis on testing.  Experts say there are solutions - but no quick fixes. (October 10)

Mindset in the Classroom - A National Study of K-12 Teachers
Education Week Research Center

This report presents findings from the survey, which was designed to examine teachers’ perspectives, professional development and training, and classroom practices. Related story. (September 22)

Virtual Reality Surging Into the Classroom
Extreme

Twenty-three percent of schools in a recent survey said they have tested virtual reality or tried it in classrooms. Schools are evenly divided on whether or not their infrastructure can support virtual reality. Survey. Related story. (September 19)

A Coming Crisis in Teaching? Teacher Supply, Demand, and Shortages in the U.S.
Learning Policy Institute 

Recent media reports of teacher shortages across the country are confirmed by the analysis of several national data sets reported in this brief.  Shortages are particularly severe in special ed, math, science, and bilingual/English learner education. Brief. Related story. (September 15)

Solving the Teacher Shortage - How to Attract and Retain Excellent Educators
Learning Policy Institute

This brief reports on a research review that finds that most effective policies for attracting and retaining strong educators include increasing their compensation and improving their preparation, professional support, and working conditions as well as improving district and school management practices that otherwise create obstacles to recruitment and retention. Brief. (September 15)

The Teacher Pay Gap is Wider Than Ever
Economic Policy Institute

An effective teacher is the most important school-based determinant of education outcomes. Therefore it is crucial that school districts recruit and retain high-quality teachers. (September 1)

High Hopes and Harsh Realities - the Real Challenges to Building a Diverse Teacher Workforce
Brookings - Brown Center on Education Policy and National Council on Teacher Quality

This report examines what it would take to achieve a national teacher workforce that is as diverse as the student body it serves, and how long it will take to reach that goal. Introduction (1). Introduction (2). Related story. (August 19)

The Teacher Pay Gap is Wider than Ever
Economic Policy Institute

The teacher pay penalty is bigger than ever. In 2015, public school teachers’ weekly wages were 17.0 percent lower than those of comparable workers—compared with just 1.8 percent lower in 1994. Press release. (August 9)

Teacher Cognitive Ability Around the World.... Where is U.S.?
Brookings

If you think the skills of American teachers don’t stack up to those of teachers in other countries, you’re wrong—American teachers are perfectly mediocre. Well, in fairness, American teachers seem to be a touch above average in literacy skills and noticeably below average in numeracy. (July 27)

Faculty Qualification Policies and Strategies Relevant to Dual Enrollment Programs: An Analysis of States and Regional Accreditation Agencies
Midwestern Higher Education Compact/Education commission of the States

This report reviews how states across the country address the quality of dual enrollment courses though policies regarding teacher qualifications.  Introduction. (July 15)

Teacher Pay Around the World
Brookings

American teachers are underpaid when compared to teachers in the nations we compete with. Let me begin with a picture showing how we compare to Finland—everyone’s favorite educational success story and a country not noted for paying its teachers especially well. (June 21) 

The Hidden Role of Teachers - Child and Classroom Predictors of Interracial Friendships
New York University - Steinhardt School

(The abstract is free, full report requires payment.) Children in late elementary and middle school tend to form friendships with same-race peers. Yet, given the potential benefits of cross-race friendships, it is important to understand the individual and contextual factors that increase the likelihood of cross-race friendship over time. Related story (NYU). Related story (The Atlantic). (June 15)

The 7 Questions Every New Teacher Should Be Able to Answer
eSchool News

Not long ago, the leadership team of a school district I was working with asked me: “If you were going to hire a new teacher, what would you ask in the interview?” They were concerned that hiring teachers with the right skills now can save a district a lot of money in staff development later. (June 13)

Grading the Graders - A Report on Teacher Evaluation Reform in Public Education
Center for the Future of American Education - Georgetown University

This is an analysis of the teacher evaluation reform movement. It includes a wide range of recommendations for state and local policymakers wanting to improve their evaluation systems under ESSA.

Georgia Teacher of the Year Ernie Lee Reflects on 2015-16
James Magazine

Teacher of the Year Ernie Lee took some time recently to reflect on his year traveling the state. You will find the abbreviated interview on page 31.  Here is the full interview. (May 27)

Fishman Prize Series: Unlocking Student Effort - How Five Irreplaceable Teachers Engage, Challenge, and Inspire students to Excellence
The New Teacher Project (TNTP)

Our goal of the Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom practice is to shine a spotlight on great teaching and amplify the voices of some of the nation’s best educators so that others can gain insight into their remarkable classrooms. Related story - Georgia winner! (May 19)

Listen to Us:  Teacher Views and Voices
Center for Education Policy

This report is the results of a survey of public school teachers to learn their views on the teaching profession, state standards and assessments, testing, and teacher evaluations, summarizes these survey findings, including responses indicating that public school teachers are concerned and frustrated with shifting policies, over emphasis on student testing, and their lack of voice in decision-making.  Related story. (May 16)

Teacher Shortages: What We Know
Education Commission of the States

This brief is the first in a series of reports examining the teacher shortage dilemma. It considers what the research says about teacher shortages and highlights recent state task force findings. Introduction.  (May 11) 

Holding Teacher Preparation Accountable
National Education Policy Center

Teacher preparation has emerged as an acutely politicized and publicized issue in U.S. education policy and practice, and there have been fierce debates about whether, how, by whom, and for what purposes teachers should be prepared. This brief takes up four major national initiatives intended to improve teacher quality. Introduction. Related article. (March 18)

Addressing Overtesting:  The Student Assessment Inventory in Action
Achieve

In 2015, Achieve provided targeted support to districts and support organizations in four states to complete assessment inventories, make recommendations, and take action to streamline assessment systems and ensure that they are coherent
and high quality. This report provides details. Introduction. (March 11) 

What does research really say about iPads in the classroom?
eSchool news

For the past year and a half, we’ve both been working with teachers and university students integrating iPad technology into the classroom in a controlled way. While doing this, we came across several outcomes that made us question and dig deeper into what the research actually says about using them in the classroom. (February 2016) 

Analysis of the Stability of Teacher-level Growth Scores from the Student Growth Percentile Model
Institute of Education Sciences - U.S. DOE

The Nevada Department of Education asked the U.S. DOE's Institute of Education Sciences to investigate the stability of student-level test score.  The Regional Educational Laboratory analyzed three years of math and reading score data for about 370 elementary and middle school teachers from Nevada's second largest school district.  This is what they found. Related story. (January 2016)

Georgia's Teacher Dropout Crisis - A Look at Why Nearly Half of Georgia Public School Teachers are Leaving the Profession
Georgia Department of Education

In the fall of 2015 the Georgia Professional Standards Commission reported a worrying statistic: 44% of public school teachers in the state leave within the first five years of employment. This focuses on a survey taken from over 53,000 educators in the state on the possible reasons for this attrition. Related story. (January 2016)