Given the authority, Milwaukee teachers are accepting accountability

This blog post originally appeared on the Education Innovating blog run by Education Evolving from 2010 to 2011. It has now been merged into our main blog.

The exclusion of teachers from the decision-making process of the learning program and management of schools is at the root of the difficulties of the K-12 system.

Intriguingly, in cases where teachers are responsible for running schools it immediately becomes apparent that teachers will accept accountability if they are allowed to control what matters for learning.

The Milwaukee Public Schools district includes 13 union-affiliated chartered schools where the authority for arranging both the learning program and the administration of a school is placed with a formally-organized group of teachers, and in which the teachers accept collegially the responsibility for the school's success.

In this video Linda Peters, at Advanced Language and Academic Studies (ALAS) bilingual high school in Milwaukee, WI, describes the motivation behind her colleagues’ efforts to form, and run, their school themselves:

The teachers at ALAS manage the school together through their own cooperative that they formed. The teachers were convinced that they could make the school function better than the traditional high schools. They show that teachers will accept accountability in exchange for authority.

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