Publications

Report · October 2015

Teaching is the number one in-school factor affecting student outcomes. And a central part of the strategy for improving teaching involves better teacher preparation. With this report, we present our own contribution to that effort: we highlight essential elements and best practices for a new, different, and we believe better, teacher preparation program.

Memo · July 2015

A description of areas of autonomy, assembled while consulting literature and visiting schools during the writing of the book Trusting Teachers with School Success. And, examples of how schools have used those autonomies.

Web Resource · January 2015

A detailed step-by-step guide for teachers interested in creating a new teacher-powered school or converting their current school.

Web Resource · January 2015

All known teacher-powered (i.e. teacher-led) schools, both in list form and plotted as pins on a map. A resource of the Teacher-Powered Schools Initiative.

Book · October 2012

Lately, our nation’s strategy for improving our schools is mostly limited to “getting tough” with teachers. Blaming teachers for poor outcomes, we spend almost all of our energy trying to control teachers’ behavior and school operations. But what if all of this is exactly the opposite of what is needed? What if trusting teachers, and not controlling them, is the key to school success?

Web Resource · June 2011

This timeline traces the evolution of schools with teacher autonomy, since the 1980s. It documents the critical roles school districts, unions, and chartering laws have had since then, in developing teacher autonomy and greater professional roles for teachers.

Book · February 2011

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.

Report · October 2010

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.

Article · July 2010

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.

Video · July 2009

Watch teachers describe what it's like to work in schools designed and run by teachers—that is, teacher-powered schools.

Article · April 2009

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.

Video · March 2009

Ted Kolderie provides a video introduction to the idea of teachers designing and running their schools, as a "partnership." Most recently, EE has begun to call these schools teacher-powered schools.

Meeting Notes · June 2008

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.

Article · September 2007

Richard Ingersoll argues: to upgrade teacher quality, schools need to go beyond just holding teachers more accountable. They need to give teachers more control.

Article · March 2006

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.

Memo · January 2005

In thinking about teachers and teaching, for example, it might be well to be cautious about assuming the traditional role of teacher-as-employee. Forever, true, the teacher has been an employee. In private education as in public education, the rule was absolute: If you wanted to be a teacher you had to be an employee. Early signs now suggest this might be changing.

Article · April 2004

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.

Report · January 2004

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.

Meeting Notes · February 2003

A teacher from Milwaukee describes for the Teacher Union Reform Network the arrangement in Milwaukee—a variation on Wisconsin's chartering law—that gives a partnership of professional teachers full authority and responsibility for the school while protecting both the teachers and the union on the economic front.

Meeting Notes · October 2001

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.

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