Forthcoming E|E book Trusting Teachers offers a promising improvement strategy

The goals of improving the profession of teaching and giving teachers the authority to design better methods for learning have been central to the work of Education Evolving and its associates for more than three decades. We believe teachers who have authority and accountability for the decisions influencing whole-school success, are in the best position to lead innovation and improvement. Trusting teachers, and not controlling them, is a promising improvement strategy to pursue.

Two of our senior associates, Kim Farris-Berg and Edward Dirkswager, have written a new, important book which argues that, in the position to collectively call the shots, teachers can create school cultures of success and high performance that we so desperately need in public education. Trusting Teachers with School Success: What Happens When Teachers Call the Shots will be released on October 16.

Here are some advance comments on the book:

“In our thirty-year effort to improve schools, we’ve blamed teachers, threatened them, and punished them. This clear and compelling book offers a new strategy: trust teachers and give them the autonomy and responsibility to make key decisions in teaching and learning and lead the effort to redesign schools and personalize education for every student. And it provides impressive evidence that this works.”
— Ron Wolk, chairman, Big Picture Learning, and founder, Education Week.

“Trusting Teachers comes to us at a critical juncture in the dialogue about the future of education in the United States. The authors examine what happens when teachers not only receive authority over their individual classrooms, but become a part of the school’s decision making structure. While many school systems push authority upwards to administration and accountability for results downwards onto individual teachers, Trusting Teachers shows us what can happen when authority and accountability are brought together and teachers have a seat at every table.”
— Linda Darling-Hammond, Professor at Stanford University School of Education

“Unleashing the collective wisdom of teachers is the best hope for improving our public schools. This provocative, sensible and practical book offers concrete evidence that it can be done and, in fact, is being done. And now that we have already tried virtually everything else, let's do the right thing and turn teacher-run schools from the exception into the norm.”
— Adam Urbanski, vice-president, American Federation of Teachers.

See more comments, representing a broad range of organizations and interests.

Over the next two weeks, this blog will feature some excerpts from Trusting Teachers in advance of its publication.


The power point presentation needs to be eliminated. It is basically good for putting people to sleep and education doesn't need that. In fact I think the elimination of computers in the classroom would be a real good start toward better education. Assign a section to be read. The next day ask if there are any questions. If there are, let the other students in the class assist the student with the question. Solve the question by student discussion so all the students can participate. The teacher should referee the discussion by allowing all the students to participate because the teacher can even pick students that do not have their hands up allowing them to participate. It may be messy but the students will learn to talk with each other to solve problems and that there is a reason to read the assignment because Got (teacher) will not pontificate the answers to their questions.

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