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Transforming High Schools: Performance Systems for Powerful Teaching

Abstract

"Teacher quality is recognized as one of the most powerful factors in student learning in the United States. A new policy brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education calls for practical set of standards and assessments to measure the quality of teacher performance. "Transforming High Schools: Performance Systems for Powerful Teaching" recommends providing teachers with the quality education and ongoing training needed to greatly improve student outcomes. The brief proposes changes to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, currently known as No Child Left Behind, which would elevate the teaching profession, support robust performance assessments to reliably measure teacher competency, and encourage feedback systems to help teachers continually improve their craft. "Transforming High Schools" provides several recommendations for federal and state policymakers to support educator development in high schools:

  • Embrace high expectations and goals for all students by establishing college and career readiness as the core mission of the K-12 education system.

  • Encourage states working with practitioners to create standards of practice that define quality teaching based on what teachers need to know and be able to do to elicit targeted student performances embodied in common standards and assessments.

  • Support the development of rigorous assessments that incorporate observational and other performance measures of teaching for the purpose of evaluating, developing, and recognizing teacher effectiveness and informing professional preparation and development."

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