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Teachers in Partnership

Trusting Teachers With Collective Autonomy

Motivating students and personalizing learning is necessary to improve student achievement. This is bound to enlarge and to change the teacher's role. Inside school the teachers know the students best, and should be free to adapt and innovate according to their students' needs.

This runs against much current thinking about standards and accountability, which wants to script and restrict what teachers do, narrowing professional discretion. This discourages teachers and makes it hard to attract and retain talent. It is important to have better-trained teachers. But it is also important to make teaching a better job and a better career.

Motivation matters for teachers, too. Motivation increases when teachers can control their work, as professionals can in most other white collar occupations. In return for autonomy, they will accept accountability for school success.

The formal Teacher Professional Partnership arrangement is proving to be a viable way to organize a school. There are also other arrangements in use around the country. The most import element of any arrangement is that teachers collectively control what matters for school success.

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