What can the Indiana General Assembly to do solve its teaching crisis? This Public Impact report for Stand for Children Indiana and Teach Plus makes three key recommendations for smart policies to bring Indiana teacher pay to the regional median of $658.1 million; provide career growth pathways, and elevate the teaching profession so Indiana attracts and retains the best and the brightest teachers.
Autonomous District Schools—A New Kind of High-Quality, Innovative Public School
Report illuminates how districts are implementing autonomous district schools to gain charter-like flexibilities and opportunities.
This report from Public Impact considers how U.S. school districts increasingly create autonomous district schools to give their schools the flexibility afforded to charter schools, in an effort to provide high-quality, innovative, and diverse public schools at scale. Like charter schools, autonomous district schools are exempt from some policies governing state-funded schools, and they have autonomy over some staffing, curriculum, budget, and operational decisions. They may be operated or supported by external school management organizations, but they remain part of the school district, which holds them accountable for their performance through contracts or alternative governance structures. This report, developed with the support of the Walton Family Foundation, examines autonomous district school models, how they differ from traditional district and charter schools, and design and implementation elements that districts should consider when creating autonomous district schools.
Built to Grow—A Case Study of IDEA Public Schools
Report describes how IDEA continues to expand and thrive as the charter sector slows.
Charter growth may be slowing across the country, but IDEA Public Schools remains committed to bringing its proven model to as many students as possible. This case study breaks down how IDEA overcomes the barriers to growth that stop so many of its peers by applying many of the same strategies that private companies use to expand and thrive. As a result, IDEA has built the systems necessary to replicate with consistency and efficiency year after year, while meetings its talent, facilities, and funding needs to the benefit of its 45,000 students and counting.
American Enterprise Institute, February 8, 2019, by Frederick M. Hess and Amy Cummings
Frustration with teacher pay is widespread. This is true even considering that school spending (per pupil, adjusted for inflation) has grown by more than 30 percent since 1992. A big part of the challenge is that it’s tougher to pay teachers more when school systems keep adding bodies. In recent decades, schools have added staff at a faster rate than they have added students. Between 1992 and 2015, for instance, student enrollment grew by 20 percent – but the teacher workforce grew faster still.
Today, there are more than 3.1 million teachers in the United States. The sheer number of teaching positions makes it not only difficult to pay well, but also to recruit as many talented educators as we’d like. Each year, schools race to hire more than 300,000 new teachers, even as U.S. colleges award just 1.8 million bachelor’s degrees across all fields. In other words, current circumstances mean that schools need to hire one out of every six graduates – simply to plug attrition. The very shape of the teaching profession has made it increasingly difficult to recruit or compensate educators in a fashion that both attracts and retains talent. Read the full article…
EdNC, February 6, 2019, by Liz Bell
When children come to the first day of kindergarten, they come with a variety of needs, personalities, abilities, and backgrounds. The most important thing in those first few weeks is building a routine, said Annette Kent, a kindergarten teacher at Coker-Wimberly Elementary School in Edgecombe County.
“Routines are very important in kindergarten and building that stamina that they need when we start the reading process,” Kent said. “I really need them to be focusing and being on task the entire time and not losing any of their instructional time. So we’re trying to drill that importance of just being able to stay on that one task and keep that one task.”
The routine leads to more time to dive into academics.
“Kids now are expected to be able to read, write, answer comprehension questions, [in] their mathematics, they’re solving problems. I think people still think kindergarten is just counting, and it’s not,” said Coker-Wimberly Principal Katelin Row. “They’re doing addition, they’re doing subtraction, they’re doing almost everything. They’re doing foundations in geometry and working with 3-D shapes. Six year olds are doing 3-D shapes right now, and that’s not what kindergarten was 20 years ago, 30 years ago.” Read the full article…