Teaching Profession

Ed. Dept. Launches Site to Promote Teacher-Leadership Ideas

By Ross Brenneman — August 29, 2014 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Back in March, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, in coordination with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, announced “Teach to Lead,” a vague initiative with the stated goal of improving teacher leadership.

The first wave of that initiative now appears to be taking shape. Yesterday, the NBPTS and the U.S. Department of Education unveiled “Commit to Lead,” an online community that, according to the press release, “makes it easy for educators to share ideas for teacher leadership and collaborate to bring them to fruition.” In addition, users will be able to vote on the quality of ideas, and the most popular ones will be made more prominent.

In other words, the two organizations have discovered Reddit.

OK, the site is actually done through the company ideascale, which offers these ranking services broadly. The interface on Commit to Lead is pretty intuitive; users can search for established ideas and vote on them, or submit a new idea. You can also comment on any idea or find similar ones. (There’s already a pretty jam-packed categorization system, so it might be interesting to see how cumbersome that becomes as more ideas come in.)

Anyone can register for Commit to Lead—teachers, administrators, parents, community members, etc.—but the site promises to accept only ideas that constitute “genuine teacher leadership efforts.” As the terms of service state, “We will not post political statements or other statements that are not primarily aimed at developing teacher leadership commitments.”

Since launching yesterday, the site has published 18 suggestions. Among the initial batch:

The current top idea, submitted by teacher (and Teacher contributor) Diedra Gammill, proposes creation of professional- learning communities for career and technical education teachers. Gammill says that CTE teachers tend to get left out of collaboration opportunities.

Many of the ideas have general titles, like “Redefine Professional Development,” or “Own the Data,” or “Teacher Preparation.” I’m not an expert, but maybe future suggestions could trend more toward something like, “Ten Easy Steps to Fix Teacher Prep” or something. Either there is no option to post GIFs, or no one has yet availed themselves of that option; either way, it’s tragic.

There’s also the issue of overkill, which was raised by Larry Ferlazzo, another Teacher contributor, in his post about the Commit to Lead site. “With all the online teacher communities already available (particularly the Center for Teaching Quality Collaboratory),” he writes, “it’s hard for me to believe that we really need another one.”

With all the online teacher communities already available (particularly the Center For Teaching Quality Collaboratory), it’s hard for me to believe that we really need another one. - See more at: http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/#sthash.1kgnu7VF.dpuf

While we wait to find out, the Commit to Lead site still has some clear glitches. You can’t submit an idea without being registered, but when I tried to register, it sent my verification email to my junk folder. I verified my email, and the site said it wasn’t able to complete the operation, even though it showed my as being logged in. Also, while Gammill’s idea is listed at the top of the site’s Leaderboard, her actual submission page shows the idea ranked 7th.

On the plus side, I think I’ve figured out a good Commit to Lead idea.

Top image: Screenshot from the Commit to Lead website.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


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
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin
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
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession We Feel Your Grief: Remembering the 1,000 Plus Educators Who've Died of COVID-19
The heartbreaking tally of lives lost to the coronavirus continues to rise and take a steep toll on school communities.
3 min read
090321 1000 Educators Lost BS
Education Week
Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor Educators Have a Responsibility to Support the Common Good
A science teacher responds to another science teacher's hesitation to take the COVID-19 vaccine.
1 min read
Teaching Profession With Vaccine Mandates on the Rise, Some Teachers May Face Discipline
With a vaccine now fully FDA-approved, more states and districts will likely require school staff get vaccinated. The logistics are tricky.
9 min read
Grace John, who works at a school in San Lorenzo, gets a COVID-19 shot at a mobile vaccination clinic run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state in Hayward, Calif., on Feb. 19, 2021. California will become the first state in the nation to require all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing. The statewide vaccine mandate for K-12 educators comes as schools return from summer break amid growing concerns of the highly contagious delta variant.
Grace John, who works at a school in San Lorenzo, gets a COVID-19 shot at a mobile vaccination clinic in Hayward, Calif. California is among those states requiring all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
Terry Chea/AP
Teaching Profession In Their Own Words Why This Science Teacher Doesn't Want the COVID Vaccine
Contrary to public health guidance, Davis Eidahl, an Iowa high school teacher, has no plans to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
4 min read
Davis Eidahl, a science teacher at Pekin High School in Packwood, Iowa, says he doesn't want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He thinks social distancing and occasional masking will be sufficient to keep himself and others safe.
Davis Eidahl, a science teacher at Pekin High School in Packwood, Iowa, says he doesn't want to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He thinks social distancing and occasional masking will be sufficient to keep himself and others safe.
Rachel Mummey for Education Week