2011-2012 Series: Teacher Quality/Effectiveness: Defining, Developing, and Assessing Policies and Practices

Episode 3: Setting Policies around Teacher Quality/Effectiveness - and the Consequences

The first two installments of our three-part series explored how to define and develop teacher quality and effectiveness.

We concluded this year's series with a discussion about setting policies around teacher quality and effectiveness, and the consequences of those policies for teachers, students, and other stakeholders.

Guest speakers:
Sean Corcoran, Associate Professor of Educational Economics, NYU Steinhardt
David Steiner, Larry and Klara Silverstein Dean, School of Education, Hunter College

Moderator:
Sarah Beck, Associate Professor of English Education, NYU Steinhardt

Episode 2: Defining, Developing, and Assessing Policies and Practices

The second in our three-part series on teacher quality and effectiveness explored how to develop it in today's teachers. At our first breakfast in the fall, we were joined by New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Wolcott and researcher Hamp Lankford, Ph.D. for a spirited discussion about the definition of teacher quality/effectiveness. 

To further that conversation, we convened two noted scholars to hear about their work and ideas. What are the current methods for developing teacher quality/effectiveness? Do incentives to encourage and promote effective teaching work? What is current research telling us about the process of preparing teachers to innovate and excel? Are schools of education, as well as alternative routes to the traditional teacher training, producing the kind of valid and reliable evidence that will ultimately enable new teachers to improve their students' performance?

Episode 1: Defining and Identifying Teacher Quality

The speakers at the first talk of this year's three-part series on teacher quality and effectiveness began with the challenge of defining what it means to be an effective teacher and how we identify quality teaching. Subsequent breakfasts looked at how to develop and cultivate effective, quality teachers and how to set policies and practices around teacher quality/effectiveness. At this talk, we explored what it means to be a quality teacher. In our current climate of assessment and evaluation, how are we measuring teacher performance? Does our current definition of teacher quality/effectiveness adequately describe the work that teachers should be doing? What are the consequences of current measurement and assessment practices?

We were pleased to launch this year's series with special guest speaker Dennis Walcott, the new chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. Chancellor Walcott had recently delivered a policy address at NYU and we were honored to welcome him back for this special discussion and to hear from him about teacher quality and effectiveness. Chancellor Walcott was joined by Dr. Hamp Lankford from University at Albany, SUNY, who spoke about his research on teacher preparation and assessment.