Those benchmarks include making sure teachers are able to "employ multiple measures of measuring student growth and understanding" (NBPTS). Moreover, a teacher needs to be able to "clearly explain student performance to parents" (NBPTS). What this means is that teachers must be mandated to complete "rigorous self-reflection exercises" that are designed specifically to demonstrate the teacher's effectiveness (p. 60). Caillier points to a study which showed that teachers with NBPTS certifications were more effective in raising student outcomes -- and though he doesn't spell out what study that was, he believes schools should use models like the NBPTS model to identify effective teachers. Teachers must be well trained in evidence-based practices, and the way to be sure they are learning those practices is by placing more emphasis on "information literacy" (IL) skills (Emmons, p. 140). The theme of the article is that colleges of education (COEs) "…must go beyond an attitude of compliance or noncompliance with the mandates" of NCLB. Instead of just complying with the mandates of NCLB, schools must prepare teachers who can "design and implement evidence-based practices" and indeed "thoughtfully and ethically articulate and justify" evidence-based practices (Emmons, p. 140). Teachers taught to create refreshingly new and workable evidence-based practices could, theoretically, help make NCLB the successful legislation it was touted to be at the outset.
If Caillier is right, these models could work well. But he cautions that while private sector employees are more motivated by money and status, public school teachers "are more motivated by work-related conditions than money." Hence, if money is being offered as a motivating factor for teachers in a pay-for-performance strategy, will it indeed inspire teachers to improve their methods? The school systems in states should clarify expectations, Caillier concludes on page 61. And that clarification should be tinged with caution when powerful forces are urging the administration to adopt pay-for-performance in the newly revised NCLB.
Additional suggestions for improving NCLB were brought forth in a New York Times editorial (Feb. 2010); the editorial pointed out that yes, critics are saying it has failed, but "for all its flaws, the law has focused the country on student achievement as never before." When the law went into effect, many states kept "unqualified teachers" and some were known to "phony up graduation rates" in order to get funding from NCLB. That said, prior to NCLB being made into law, many states covered up their failures by basically failing to report or analyze test scores by gender, on socioeconomic grounds, or by ethnicity, the Times writes. With NCLB, that practice was ended, because states under NCLB must provide accurate "yearly breakdowns of student achievement data" along the lines of ethnic, racial and economic lines.
But what needs to be revised is the fact that the present law fails to note the difference between schools that miss their targets because "they are permanently mired in failure and schools that miss their targets but are still making rapid progress." The new version of NCLB should, the Times asserts, find a way to reward and recognize schools that are indeed making progress "without opening the floodgates to a new round of ...
Conclusion: Since no voices have yet been raised disputing the need for major revisions of NCLB, the task before the president and Congress then is to not just reach a compromise that is a watered down version of reform, but they must demand accountability and even hold back federal dollars if that policy can assure higher quality of learning in schools. A nation that is #24 among all nations in "problem solving" needs a robust NCLB, not in ten years, but now.
Caillier, James. (2010). Paying Teachers According to Student Achievement: Questions
Regarding Pay-for-Performance Models in Public Education. The Clearing House, Vol. 83,
Emmons, Mark, et al. (2009). Teaching Information Literacy Skills to Prepare Teachers
Who Can Bridge the Research-to-Practice Gap. Reference & User Services Quarterly,
Henderson, Nia-Malika. (2010). New Course for No Child Left Behind. Politico.com.
Retrieved Feb. 7, 2010, from www.Politico.com.
Miller, George. (2009). Improving Competitiveness Through Education.…
Teachers must be well trained in evidence-based practices, and the way to be sure they are learning those practices is by placing more emphasis on "information literacy" (IL) skills (Emmons, p. 140). The theme of the article is that colleges of education (COEs) "…must go beyond an attitude of compliance or noncompliance with the mandates" of NCLB. Instead of just complying with the mandates of NCLB, schools must prepare teachers who can "design and implement evidence-based practices" and indeed "thoughtfully and ethically articulate and justify" evidence-based practices (Emmons, p. 140). Teachers taught to create refreshingly new and workable evidence-based practices could, theoretically, help make NCLB the successful legislation it was touted to be at the outset.
Children? The novel Where are the Children? By Mary Higgins Clark falls into the genre of a suspenseful mystery. The bulk of the novel involves Nancy Harmon, the protagonist. We meet her after she has moved from California to Cape Cod and has reinvented herself. Tragedy struck Nancy Harmon's life when her children went missing, only to be found in the bay, 50 miles apart, with plastic bags over their
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In fact, as early as the 1989-1990 school years, school-based decision making was implemented in three elementary schools in the Memphis City School System (Smith, Valesky & Horgan, 1991). Based on this seminal initiative, improvements were cited in: (a) the coordination provided by the school councils; (b) school-based staff development activities; (c) support and services provided by the district central office; (d) data and reports provided to the individual
Unfortunately, the traditional textbook-based skills approach focuses on memorizing by rote measurement facts (e.g., equivalent measures such as 12 inches = 1 foot) and measurement procedures (e.g., how to use a ruler)" (1998, p. 15-9). Absent hands-on exercises, though, many young learners will not have an opportunity to construct an understanding of the process of measurement or a concept of measurement unit which can frequently result in mechanical and inappropriate