Arizona Education Association

Advocate Spring 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 16 of 39

we want people to look at NEA as a major catalyst "Five years from now, all Americans want, 2. Teachers Ensuring Teacher Quality • Raising the bar will help ensure that only qualified and capable teachers enter the profession, Van Roekel said, but as with any intellectu- ally challenging profession, educators have to make sure that their skills stay sharp. To that end, the NEA president called for: 4 Advancing a tiered system of achievement for career teachers. Based on the com- mission's recommendations, Van Roekel called for a new career path that has different compensation and responsibili- ties for Novice, Professional, and Master Teachers. Just as junior and senior members of any profession are given differing sets of responsibilities, the NEA president said, it makes sense, for example, for more ad- vanced teachers to take on the challenges of the most difficult-to-serve students. 4 100 high-quality Peer Assistance and Peer Assistance and Review programs over the next two years. Van Roekel noted that PAR programs have already helped lead to marked student-achievement improve- ments through structured mentorships, observations, and rigorous standards-based evaluations of teachers in Columbus, Ohio and Montgomery County, Md. Principals recognize that they don't have enough time to properly evaluate teachers all by them- selves, and teachers can help lighten the load by more readily spotting flaws in other teachers' pedagogy and providing practical recommendations for improvement. 3. Union Leadership to Transform the Profession • As America's largest education organiza- tion, Van Roekel said, it is NEA's responsibil- ity to move the field of education toward greater excellence. To make sure this hap- pens, he urged that: 4 Teachers must take on leadership roles. The for bringing about the kind of education all teachers can deliver, and all children deserve." —NEA President Dennis Van Roekel absence of practicing teachers at the policy table has led to in- adequate and poorly designed policies, the NEA president said. Teacher leadership, he added, needs to be something more than a handshake agree- ment between a given principal and teach- er. It must be integrated into the structure of school leadership to leverage teachers' on-the-ground expertise. "Many local NEA affiliates are helping teachers and schools improve their performance – and raise stu- dent achievement – because teachers are taking responsibility for improving instruc- tion, curriculum, and school performance. When great teachers become great leaders, students reap the benefits," Van Roekel said. In addition to working with teacher prepa- ration providers to power new high-quality residency programs in the next few years and working to advance peer assistance and review around the nation, Van Roekel pledged that NEA's training network will: • Train 1,000 accomplished teachers for lead- ership roles across the country. • Train thousands of educators in educa- tional leadership based on the innovative curriculum being developed by the NEA Foundation's Institute on Teaching and Learning. • Provide support and training for high-qual- ity teachers to serve as mentors and faculty in teacher preparation programs, strengthen- ing clinical practice to ensure that candidates receive the practical preparation they need. "I am committing NEA's strength and re- sources to making all these changes," said Van Roekel. "Five years from now, we want people to look at NEA as a major catalyst for bring- ing about the kind of education all Americans want, all teachers can deliver, and all children deserve." 2 AEA Advocate x Spring 2012 17 NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Arizona Education Association - Advocate Spring 2012