2010 Education Leadership Conference
On March 26, over 600 educators and leaders in education reform gathered in New Haven for the third annual Yale School of Management (SOM) Education Leadership Conference. The theme was the Obama administration’s “Race to the Top” initiative, and the focus was on its priorities, goals, and risks. Panelists were a diverse group speaking for major stakeholders in education reform, including the DOE, the American Federation of Teachers, the New Teachers Project, and the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation, among others.
In attending the conference, Classroom, Inc.’s Implementation team concentrated its focus on professional development. The panel “The Creation and Development of Effective Classroom Teachers,” included much talk on the current reform efforts of the Washington, D.C. public school system, specifically IMPACT, an assessment system for all school-based personnel that aims to improve their performance through data-based feedback and professional development customized to educators’ individual needs. Panelists also discussed the pros and cons of publicizing performance-related data at every level in a school district in order to motivate improvement through increased transparency.
Another session, “Building a Better Teacher,” was led by Doug McCurry, the CEO of Achievement First [http://www.achievementfirst.org/], a school management nonprofit that regards closing the achievement gap as a major civil rights issue. The session focused on Teacher Development—analyzing the common model to recommend improvements, particularly peer evaluation and consistent coaching in which school-based coaches and teachers work together on individual teacher priorities.
Classroom, Inc. staff attending the conference came away with new insight into the latest educational reforms and a renewed sense of purpose stemming from the strong career and college-readiness focus evident at all levels of discussion.