Friday, November 17, 2006

Teachers and school reform

Don’t’ face school reform alone; organize
An organizing model for school change.

We know from experience in several cities that school reform efforts are not sustained beyond the tenure of a superintendent or a principal. And, there has been realistically little improvement in reducing the achievement gap in urban systems. See the several examples of phony reform described in prior posts.

Teachers as change agents.
We need to develop a new role for teachers as change agents for those teachers committed to civil rights and the success of their students. This potential role is under developed. We need active and activist teacher leaders to guide and direct change to a more democratic and a more equal school system. In most school districts administrators are not promoting democratic reform and perhaps their positions prevent them from promoting democratic reform.

There currently exists a number of leadership roles for teachers. They fill positions such as lead teacher , grade level leaders, host teaches, mentor teachers, student advocates, curriculum specialists, teacher organizers, language specialists, union leaders and change agents.

Teachers leaders are needed to provide a teacher voice and advocacy for quality education within the school reform efforts. Teacher organizers are in particular need when schools are under some form of re-constitution or re-organization to improve achievement

Duane Campbell
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