Follow Us: BlogTwitterFacebook

teachers

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.

In this 1991 retrospective, Albert Shanker looks back over 40 years in the profession. He is realistic about the union's conventional strategy of higher salaries and smaller class size. He looks toward others strategies: differentiated staffing, the individualization of learning through technology, project-based learning, and performance-based assessment.

Albert Shanker said in 1991, before school choice and chartering, “People in other fields dislike change too. But they have to do it. We in education don’t. For us nothing is at stake.” The absence of an internal impetus for change leads us to prescribe "mandates." But why not find what is blocking change inside K-12, and fix that?

The medical director of a big multi-specialty hospital/medical group—in which the doctors are employees—describes how the professional and ‘business’ decisions are divided between physicians and managers. Ted Kolderie’s notes from a conversation with Dr. George Isham.

Visitors look at a chartered school in Minnesota that has no employees, as well as no courses and no classes. Notes of the discussion at a national meeting at Hamline University in September 2001.

In most occupations we consider, ‘professional’ people do have the opportunity to work with partners in single- or multi-specialty groups they collectively own. But not in education. For heaven’s sake, why not? This is Chapter One from Teachers As Owners. Purchase the full book at Amazon.com.

In the April 2004 American Experiment Quarterly, Ted Kolderie wrote that virtually all of our discussion about improving teaching occurs within the traditional assumption that teachers are employees managed by administrators, rather than professionals in control of their work. Current efforts to train teachers, to improve teacher practice, to recruit teachers, to retain teachers and to change the way in which teachers are compensated need not take place within this boss/worker, master/servant framework.

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.

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.