Online Summit TODAY at 1 p.m. ET: Teaching Math in a Pandemic. Register Now
Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

District Effort Can Assist Teacher-Training Process

September 20, 2016 1 min read

To the Editor:

In the Aug. 24, 2016, issue of Education Week, Marc F. Bernstein’s Commentary presented an excellent argument for recertifying teachers by giving teachers and their unions responsibility for implementing that process.

Bernstein accurately reviews the issues with reform, such as poor implementation by federal and state officials and requiring teachers to implement new standards without proper training. While his recommendation is wise, it is unlikely to have much support in the current political environment. However, his goal can be achieved on a district level through the cooperation of boards of education, administrators, teachers, and unions.

The Island Park School District on Long Island, N.Y., was able to avoid some of these issues through cooperation based upon trust and a shared belief in providing every child a sound education. The district’s administrative team, which I led as superintendent during the first decade of the century, agreed that teachers could not be expected to initiate new programs without proper professional development—and that development had to be more than monthly meetings or several one-day conference presentations.

We provided training both after school in accordance with our teachers'-union contract and during release time within the school day. In addition, we arranged for consultants to assist teachers in developing lessons and implementing classroom instruction. This required a significant financial investment supported by the board of education. Our investment of time and resources resulted in notable gains in student achievement based upon both local benchmark and state assessments.

As a result of these efforts, the changes became part of the institutional culture. Staff members who mastered the new curriculum became trainers for new teachers and those who were experiencing difficulty. Even with intensive support, not all teachers were able to meet our expectations. In those cases, administrators and union leaders cooperated to assist people so that they could leave with dignity.

While waiting for politicians to act responsibly, educators should act locally to implement needed change.

Edward Price

Adjunct Professor of Educational Leadership

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, N.Y.

A version of this article appeared in the September 21, 2016 edition of Education Week as District Effort Can Assist Teacher-Training Process

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Future of Work Webinar
Digital Literacy Strategies to Promote Equity
Our new world has only increased our students’ dependence on technology. This makes digital literacy no longer a “nice to have” but a “need to have.” How do we ensure that every student can navigate
Content provided by Learning.com
Mathematics Online Summit Teaching Math in a Pandemic
Attend this online summit to ask questions about how COVID-19 has affected achievement, instruction, assessment, and engagement in math.
School & District Management Webinar Examining the Evidence: Catching Kids Up at a Distance
As districts, schools, and families navigate a new normal following the abrupt end of in-person schooling this spring, students’ learning opportunities vary enormously across the nation. Access to devices and broadband internet and a secure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Speech Therapists
Lancaster, PA, US
Lancaster Lebanon IU 13
Elementary Teacher
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: January 13, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Obituary In Memory of Michele Molnar, EdWeek Market Brief Writer and Editor
EdWeek Market Brief Associate Editor Michele Molnar, who was instrumental in launching the publication, succumbed to cancer.
5 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: December 9, 2020
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated Briefly Stated: Stories You May Have Missed
A collection of articles from the previous week that you may have missed.
8 min read