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Reform Matters: October 29, 2012
posted by: Tim | October 29, 2012, 06:45 PM   

As the largest national non-union professional association for educators, AAE is a non-partisan choice for teachers across the country. We are proud to be member-driven and only take positions on issues after our members are surveyed at a majority. The studies, articles, and policies showcased in this newsletter have not necessarily been endorsed by AAE; however, by sharing new and innovative trends in education policy, we hope to educate and empower our members by examining new possibilities in education.

Feel free to forward this email on to colleagues, or encourage them to join our email list. We hope that you will provide us with feedback and consider submitting an article or study for consideration.

AAE Blog Roll: Don't forget to bookmark the AAE blog and the AAE Charters blog for original daily posts on trends in education reform and professional development.

New Standardized Assessments in New York Raise Testing Questions
The Most Effective Professional Development: Professional Learning Communities
Teacher Tech Tool: instaGrok
After the Chicago Teacher Strike and the Future of Teacher Unions
Florida's Student Achievement Goals Met with Controversy
2012 National Teacher of the Year Promotes Professionalism
Milwaukee Traditional Schools Feel Impact of Growing Virtual School Community

Reading List: Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots by Kim Farris-Berg, Released 10/10/12

Lately our nation's strategy for improving our schools is mostly limited to "getting tough" with teachers. Blaming teachers for poor outcomes, we spend almost all of our energy trying to control teachers' behavior and school operations. But what if all of this is exactly the opposite of what is needed? What if teachers are the answer and not the problem? What if trusting teachers, and not controlling them, is the key to school success?

Examining the experiences of teachers who are already trusted to call the shots, this book answers: What would teachers do if they had the autonomy not just to make classroom decisions, but to collectively - with their colleagues - make the decisions influencing whole school success? Decisions such as school curriculum, how to allocate the school budget, and who to hire.

Teachers with decision-making authority create the schools that many of us profess to want. They
individualize learning. Their students are active (not passive) learners who gain academic and life skills. The teachers create school cultures that are the same as those in high-performing organizations. They accept accountability, innovate, and make efficient use of resources. These promising results suggest that it's time to trust teachers. Visit for more information.

"Our teacher-members say they would happily embrace accountability measures if they were included in the development and implementation of reform initiatives. The authors of Trusting Teachers have hit this nail smack on the head! Every governor and state school commissioner in America should implement a test program that allows classroom teachers the chance to show what they can do if they were actually in charge of running schools." -Gary Beckner, AAE Executive Director

Education Reform Goes Hollywood: "Won't Back Down" Now in Theaters

Don't forget to catch "Won't Back Down," a feature film highlighting struggling schools and parent and teacher empowerment. The movie was released to theaters September 28 and education advocates are buzzing about its impact.

Click here to view the movie trailer.

Education Technology & Blended Learning

Virtual courses give Grand Rapids students time for internships and on-site experiences, E-Learning Opens Real-World Doors, Education Week, 10/23/12

iNACOL Releases New Reports during this week's Virtual School Symposium, New Books Highlight Lessons Learned from K-12 Online and Blended Learning, News Herald, 10/22/12

Enrollment in virtual schools is on the rise across the country, Virtual school enrollment up 38%, Wausau Daily Herald, 10/21/12

Teacher Quality, Curriculum & Alternative Certification

Study finds public school employment has been outpacing K-12 enrollment for decades, The School Staffing Surge, Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, Fall 2012

School leaders matter, Measuring the Impact of Effective Principals, Education Next, Winter 2013

What will be the impact of the rush to measure teachers? Paper: The hangover: Thinking about the unintended consequences of the nation's teacher evaluation binge, American Enterprise Institute, 9/26/12

Mastering student-centered learning, Instilling Ownership and Responsibility in Student-Centered Learning, PD 360, Fall 2012

Charter Schools, Choice & Reform Advocacy

Education reform often brings both sides of the aisle together, here's an exception, Proposition 32 Divides California's Education Reformers, Huffington Post, 10/15/12

Parents are supporting school choice in record numbers, Detroit parents embrace school choice, poll says, Detroit News, 10/11/12

New study links parent engagement to student success, Does Capital at Home Matter More than Capital at School?, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Fall 2012
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