Teaching as a Profession

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Illinois School Reform

Teaching as a Profession

 

American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
This organization is a national, voluntary association of colleges and universities with programs preparing professional educators. The site includes documents on professional accountability, teacher standards, and teacher education reform.

American Federation of Teachers
The AFT is an AFL-CIO union which includes teachers and non-teaching school employees as part of its membership. The AFT works on a broad range of issues in education, labor, and social legislation. Their weekly online newsletter, Inside AFT, often comments on teacher employment, labor issues, and school reform.

Association of Teacher Educators
The ATE is a national membership organization "devoted solely to the improvement of teacher education for both school and campus-based teacher educators." Of special interest on this site are ATE's Standards for Teacher Educators.

The Council of Chief State School Officers
The council is a nonprofit organization representing chief education officers and works on behalf of the state agencies having primary authority for education in each state. The site includes documents on professional licensing standards under "Standards and Assessments." The council's State Education Assessment Center, under "Centers and Projects," manages projects in professional licensure, assessment, and development, including the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium and the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium.

Education Week on the Web
Education Week is "American Education's Online Newspaper of Record." Check this searchable site (with archives back to 1981) for articles and other information on teaching and reform. Useful terms to search under are teacher licensing, teacher certification, teaching standards, teaching as a profession, and accreditation of teacher education programs. News about many teacher education-related organizations also appears frequently.

ERIC Digest: Alternative Teacher Compensation
From the Digest introduction: "Teacher compensation is gaining renewed attention in state legislatures and school district offices as policymakers seek to attract and retain qualified individuals to teaching and also explore creative ways to promote higher educational and professional standards. This Digest examines various alternative methods of teacher compensation currently proposed or in practice in school districts around the country."

ERIC Digest: Incentives for Accountability
Examines the issues of tying teachers' pay to their performance. From the Digest introduction: "This Digest examines the role of rewards and sanctions in school reform and identifies key issues in implementing incentive systems."

50 States' Certification Requirements
The University of Kentucky at Lexington has compiled this set of links to the teacher certification requirements of many states in the U.S. (contrary to the title, the page does not have information on all of the states). Each link connects the user to information provided by the respective state. This site also includes links to position announcements for various states.

Improving America's Schools: Newsletter on Issues in School Reform
This site is one in a series on newsletters funded and distributed by the U.S. Department of Education. The newsletter is intended to help state, district and school leaders in their efforts towards reforming education. Here these leaders can share information with each other, as well as learn how U.S. Department of Education programs and initiatives can help. In this issue, links lead to pages with information on the following topics related to professional development: ways in which professional development is being conducted to support improved teaching and learning; principles of high-quality professional development; opportunities for professional development under federal legislation; and state and local efforts to reform preservice preparation programs and teacher certification standards.

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
The NBPTS is a private, nonprofit organization "working to improve American education through voluntary advanced certification of elementary and secondary school teachers." This searchable site includes summaries of the group's professional teaching standards and detailed information about national board certification. The NBPTS is establishing high standards of knowledge and skill for accomplished teachers. These efforts include the development of a system of advanced, voluntary national certification, called National Board Certification. The site contains information on the NBPTS itself, the process of achieving National Board Certification, and the standards applied in the certification process.

National Commission on Teaching and America's Future
"The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing every child with competent, caring, qualified teachers in schools organized for success" (from NCTAF website). It addresses central issues in teaching in relation to current school reforms. Key publications on the site include the 1996 report What Matters Most: Teaching for America's Future, "which placed the issue of teaching quality squarely at the center of the nation's education agenda," and the 2003 report No Dream Denied, in which the "NCTAF finds that high teacher turnover and attrition have become a national crisis that is undermining teaching quality in too many of our schools."

National Education Association
The NEA represents more than 2 million educators. This searchable site includes a good deal of information on teaching as a profession. Check under Issues and Actions for new developments in teaching and school reform.

National Institute for Excellence in Teaching
The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) was "established with the mission of ensuring a highly skilled, strongly motivated and competitively compensated teacher for every classroom in America". The site includes information on the NIET Teacher Advancement Program, a Best Practices Center, which offers technical advice to a broad base of teacher quality initiatives, and links to recent NIET publications.

Performance Pay Resources
From the Oregon School Boards Association, a collection of useful resources covering the issue of performance pay. Site includes a helpful primer presenting an overview of performance pay.

Teacher Education Accreditation Council
This site answers questions about the Teacher Education Accreditation Council, established in partnership with the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). Governed by a Board of Directors, the new, national organization accredits professional education programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The purpose of the TEAC is to "recognize and promote high-quality professional education programs in colleges and universities." While the site's contents are limited, they are also concise and informative.

Teacher Quality
The U.S. Department of Education has collected a useful set of documents on this site in reponse to the call for a "talented and dedicated teacher in every classroom."

Teacher Rules, Rights and Roles
Created by the National Council on Teacher Quality, Teacher Rules, Rights and Roles is a database containing information on "collective bargaining agreements, board policies, and teacher handbooks from the nation's 50 largest school districts." The database can be searched or used to create customized reports.

Tr3 Teacher Contract Database
Created by the National Council on Teacher Quality the database contains agreements, state and teachers policies, student demographic data and labor context information for more than 100 schools districts on the nation.