Teacher-Lead Analyses Shows Classroom Working Conditions Key to Student Achievement, Teacher Retention

Dec 01, 2010, 11:47 ET from Center for Teaching Quality

Public School Teachers from 5 States Complete Research on Classroom Conditions

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C., Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Teaching Quality today released a teacher-led report showing that teacher working conditions have deep impacts on student learning conditions. Funded by the Ford Foundation, the research was released jointly with a 14-member expert public school teacher team spread across five states.

The report, Transforming School Conditions: Building Bridges to the Education System that Students and Teachers Deserve, was co-authored by the TeacherSolutions Teacher Working Conditions (TWC) team and is the result of more than a year of research and analyses from classroom teachers.  The report's uniqueness is grounded in both scholarly investigation and the perspective of the community context in which the team of expert teachers work.

*View the virtual report here: http://www.teachingquality.org/cftq/index.html.

"The Transforming School Conditions report is important because in the past teacher insight has been rarely seriously sought when policymakers make major decisions about teaching and learning," said Barnett Berry, President of the Center for Teaching Quality.  "As our nation rightfully focuses on identifying effective teachers, it is time to consider the conditions that allow teachers to teach effectively."

Teacher working conditions often determine whether or not students can learn at high academic levels and whether teachers can teach effectively. These conditions include the extent to which teachers (1) Are prepared for the subjects and grades they teach, (2) have access to reliable data on student performance that can inform their instruction, (3) are connected to professional networks that can improve their practice, (4) have opportunities to lead and spread their expertise, and (5) can draw on community resources to connect "regular" and afterschool programs.

"Many policymakers call for less preparation, not more," said teacher Kathie Marshall, a sixth grade teacher in Southern California and member of the TWC team. "Effective teaching begins with more rigorous preparation before teachers begin to teach and we know what it needs to look like."

*View the virtual report here: http://www.teachingquality.org/cftq/index.html.

"Conversations about student assessment need to include all teachers, not just core teachers," said Susan "Ernie" Rambo, a Middle School electives teacher in Las Vegas, Nevada. "Teachers often miss out on conversations with their colleagues as they create strategies to support school-wide student achievement efforts. As we talk about the importance of using multiple measures to benefit our students all teachers must be involved."

The Transforming School Conditions report, which includes embedded podcasts created by the TeacherSolutions team, speaks boldly as to what holds back student learning and a 21st century teaching profession.

The TeacherSolutions Teacher Working Conditions team is made up of expert classroom educators in California, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Alabama who teach diverse grade levels, subjects, and students, mostly in high-needs schools and districts.  The team examined practices in their own school communities as well as a variety of research studies.

*View the virtual report here: http://www.teachingquality.org/cftq/index.html.

Founded in 1999, the Center for Teaching Quality (CTQ) improves student learning through developing teacher leadership, conducting practical research and collaborating with communities nationwide to improve student achievement.  To learn more about CTQ's work, please visit www.teachingquality.org.

Contact: Alesha Daughtery, mobile: 919-599-6856


SOURCE Center for Teaching Quality