There's growing interest in improving the "management of human capital" in K-12: teacher recruitment, retention, compensation, accountability, etc. Usually this suggests 'better administration.' Yet, these decisions might be better made by teachers running a professional partnership. This interview with teacher Carrie Bakken addresses how a partnership handles running a public school.
Notes from an evening with a group of teachers, and the partners in a law firm and a medical clinic. The discussion about the relationship of professionals and administrators, in law and medicine, compared to the relationship of teachers and principal in a typical school, is fascinating especially with regards to authority and pay.
Twenty years ago, when the late Albert Shanker, then president of the American Federation of Teachers, endorsed the notion of innovative schools operating outside conventional district bureaucracies, his aim was to put teachers at the helm. “If you want to hold teachers accountable,” he posited, “then teachers have to be able to run the school.” In the Spring 2009 Education Next, Beth Hawkins explores how some teachers are realizing his vision with the teacher professional partnership model championed by Education|Evolving.
Carrie Bakken, member of a teacher professional partnership (TPP) that runs Avalon High School in Saint Paul, Minnesota, met with Duncan to describe how the TPP arrangement improves school conditions for teachers and students. She argued that when teachers are put in charge, very different types of schools emerge, and today’s issues around tenure, compensation, and teacher evaluation are resolved.
A case study of Avalon School and several other teacher-led schools in the Midwest. These schools use resources differently than traditional district schools, use a different praxis of teaching, and divide authority and responsibility differently—including assigning responsibility for learning to the students.
Ron Wolk, founder of Education Week, draws on his three decades in school reform to make the case for a "new schools" strategy, focused on individualized instruction instead of an assembly line approach to learning.
Teachers could and should have the option to work—as many other professionals do—with colleagues in a professional group which they collectively own, with administrators working for them. This is the original report on the topic. An inventory of schools with teacher autonomy is available here.
When "workers" are involved in making decisions about their workplaces, their productivity can increase. This article examines the empirical support for this argument over a wide range of types of organizations.