February 2010

    Invest in Teachers

    February 2010 Cover

    Teacher quality is key to the success of our schools and our children. No matter how you judge success, there can be no doubt that students do better in testing, are more motivated, more interested, and fundamentally happier when they have good teachers. Nowhere is this more important than the English as a Second Language classroom, where children are often more reliant on their teacher than other classes, as their families may be unable to provide the support structure so important to children, yet teachers in high-poverty and high-minority schools are less likely to be well-trained.  However, although we are rushing to judge teacher “effectiveness,”we are doing very little to help our teachers excel.
    In the Race to the Top (RttT) guidelines, teacher effectiveness is measured by value-added student assessments – comparing how students perform on standardized tests before their classes with a teacher to those afterward. While value-added student achievement data can be used to reward and recognize certain achievements by educators, it is patently absurd to use it as the sole method by which teachers are judged. This system ignores the benefits of high-quality induction and professional development, strong and supportive school administrators, and opportunities for collaboration and leadership. Teachers need professional support and opportunities to develop their practice, including focused induction during their initial years in the profession. Measuring teachers’ impact on standardized tests without providing the means to help educators strengthen their practice do little to help us improve schools.
    If RttT is to be an effective policy, it needs to recognize the importance of teacher development. RttT should require states to focus on the development of their teachers, not merely identify those who are succeeding at preparing their students for standardized tests.
    Only one part of the Recovery Act – Title I School Improvement Grants – makes professional development part of the equation by requiring schools to “provide staff ongoing, high-quality, job-embedded professional development…to ensure that they are equipped to facilitate effective teaching and learning and have the capacity to successfully implement school reform strategies.”
    In addition, we have to encourage and train a more diverse supply of teachers. Too few minority teachers are encouraged into the profession and other teachers receive too little cultural training. Recently, University of Southern Mississippi education professor Tom O’Brien explained how the demographic realities of the South demand a change in teacher  training, “Historically, we prepare teachers who are white, female and middle-class. That’s not going to change. What needs to change is how we prepare people by teaching them to be competent across cultures.”
    Even corporations, which seem to be the current model for school districts, recognize that they cannot expect to improve results without investing in training, and that training is much more cost-effective than hiring and firing. However, maybe the problem lies in the fact that teacher quality is extremely difficult to measure. The specific qualities that constitute an effective teacher are not easily defined, nor are they easily quantifiable. And, in this age of quick fixes and instant results, we do not dare to even try to promote reforms which cannot be easily defined with simple measurement.


    Going in the Right Direction
    Iliana Alanis explores the differences and similarities within Dual Language Programs

    Scaffolding Success
    Five Principles for Succeeding with Adolescent English Learners: An Interview with Aída Walqui

    Read All About It
    Judy Hoffpauir recommends taking a multifaceted approach to reading comprehension 

    Teacher Preparation Programs
    Language Magazine’s selection of colleges and universities offering post-graduate programs for language professionals

    El Norte
    Kate Sommers-Dawes recommends Spain’s northern regions for a Spanish immersion experience

    God’s Collage
    Daniel Ward wonders at the contrasts that Chile offers the Spanish learner

    Last Writes
    Richard Lederer on teaching, metaphorically

    Plus all the latest news in language learning technology, book reviews, and source information on language funding


    1. Teaching has become a tough job due to the challenges like frequent change of syllabus, low salary, changes among the students. One more thing is while a lot is expected from teachers what is given is much low.

    2. Nevertheless, in the end it’s fine, due to the fact you will be seeing Netflix
      whilst you play and the game will be muted at any rate.
      -Psyfiend’s Psychic Terror cast time has been increased to 2 seconds, up
      from 1. Although Dungeons & Dragons and its
      ilk are positioned as fantasy role-playing games limited only
      by the players’ imagination, they are in fact bound by common principles that make fantasy role-playing
      games distinctly American.

      my page – wow

    3. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.
      I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post.
      Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

      Review my weblog safelist

    4. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of
      plagorism or copyright infringement? My blog has a lot of
      exclusive content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping
      it up all over the internet without my authorization. Do you know any solutions
      to help protect against content from being stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate

      Also visit my web-site: dale carnegie Training

    5. As you earn the trust and esteem of the group you’re questing for or representing with
      a tabard, you’ll also gain access to the items sold by their quartermaster.
      In the east area of the map, you will find Rotting Behemoths that are great target for farming as
      they can be sold easily for hundred and more
      gold. Here’s a free gap-closing map worth more than all the
      gold in Fort Knox (what’s left of it):.

    6. As soon as you enter a new map region, the first thing
      you should do is head on over to the main town and get all the quest’s you can by speaking to all the NPC’s you find.
      In doing so, this small nation became the first world champion in the history of the game.
      Wailing Caverns: For levels 15-21, recommended levels 18+.

      Stop by my blog … wow brasil

    7. Hello, Neat post. There is an issue together with your
      web site in internet explorer, could check this?
      IE nonetheless is the market chief and a large component to other people will miss your great writing due to this problem.

    8. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I
      decided to browse your blog on my iphone during
      lunch break. I really like the info you provide here and can’t wait to
      take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how quick your blog
      loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..
      Anyways, wonderful site!

      Feel free to surf to my homepage; planchas ghd; http://www.planchapeloghdbaratas.com,

    9. great put up, very informative. I wonder why the other experts of this sector don’t understand this.
      You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve
      a great readers’ base already!

    10. The book raised all sorts of questions and I thought a lot about those questions.
      That would certainly be annoying, not to mention unproductive.

      Here are a few common treatments for plantar fasciitis:.

    11. Hello! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are
      you using for this website? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve
      had problems with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another
      platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of
      a good platform.

    12. There a wide range of open source CMS available around the Internet.
      The package comes with varied varieties of instruments as well as normally the one by method of that
      you just’ll design your internet site with your own. But as you know,
      what’s the most effective Reseller Hosting.

    Comments are closed.