Invest in Teacher Leadership

The following is an excerpt from a guest column by Randy Speck, that ran in The Detroit News on March 3. Click here for the full article.

For too long, educators have had very few opportunities for career advancement. The decades-long practice has been to take the best teachers out of the classroom and turn them into school principals. The theory goes that if they were good teachers, they’ll be equally good administrators. While that may be the case, many teachers looking for leadership opportunities are not interested in becoming administrators.

Teachers — especially young teachers — want opportunities to grow and develop into leaders. According to one survey, half of all teachers are interested in teaching in the classroom part-time while taking on additional roles or responsibilities in their school or district. At the same time, schools need teachers to take on leadership roles to support instructional improvement.

Providing skilled teachers the opportunity to serve in formal teacher leader roles while offering additional compensation for providing high levels of support to classroom teachers is a powerful investment. As a former superintendent, I know that when instruction is stronger, student achievement grows. And the opportunity for peer-to-peer instruction creates within a school a new sense of ownership. Creating roles and responsibilities for teacher leaders also allows teachers a greater voice to work with administrators in designing strategies for student learning and school improvement.

When we invest in the careers of our teachers and then empower and support them in leading learning, we invest in the success of all our students. In the end, Michigan students will win.

Click here for the full article.

Still Time to Sign

It is well understood that Michigan’s school funding system is failing to meet the educational needs of Michigan students. Stand with students and take the Fair Funding Pledge. Join with others from across the state who have already sent more than 500 messages to state leaders calling for school funding based on student need. Click here to add your name.

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Capital Update

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION will meet today, March 10, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the Dombrowski Board Room in the Hannah Building. Agenda includes a presentation on Top 10 in 10 Strategic Action Plan and an update on partnership districts.

SENATE EDUCATION AND CAREER READINESS COMMITTEE will meet today, March 10 at noon in room 1300 of the Binsfeld Office Building. Agenda: overview presentation by the Michigan Department of Education on the third grade reading law.

HOUSE SCHOOL AID AND DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE will meet Wednesday, March 11 at noon in room 352 of the State Capitol Building. Agenda: presentations from education associations and other stakeholders.

SENATE UNIVERSITIES AND COMMUNITY COLLEGES APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE will meet Thursday, March 12 at 3:00 p.m. in the Gast Appropriations Room in the State Capitol Building. Agenda: testimony from Michigan Association of State Universities and public testimony on student financial aid.

Tweet of the Week

@edtrustmidwest: Exceptional educators should never have to choose between teaching and their career. Creating space & opportunity for in-classroom career advancement is critical. Thank you @Randy_Speck for making the point so clearly. @detroitnews #miched