Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lessons from the International Summit on Teaching

The great WaPo columnist Valerie Strauss has been reporting on the first ever International Summit on Teaching, convened last week in New York City. She takes note of the key difference between current U.S. ed policies and politics and those countries that are leading the world, like Finland and South Korea. The difference being that in those countries, teachers are "well-respected, well-paid, well-supported with resources and development, unionized, and considered capable of designing curriculum and lesson plans themselves without interference from non-educators.'

Strauss follows up with a commentary on the Summit by Stanford's Linda Darling-Hammond, who President Obama rightfully should have chosen to be our secretary of education over the corporate toadie who currently sits atop the DOE. Writes LDH:

For contrast, wade through Arne Duncan's (DOE's) murky, bureaucratic report on the Summit and see how all the meeting's important lessons sailed right past them.
"How poignant for Americans to listen to this account while nearly every successful program developed to support teachers’ learning in the United States is proposed for termination by the Obama administration or the Congress... These small programs total less than $1 billion annually, the cost of half a week in Afghanistan."

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