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Retaining Teacher Talent
Report 3. Convergence and Contradictions in Teachers’ Perceptions of Policy Reform Ideas
As a new decade dawns, teachers stand at the center of a policy vortex. They serve as the primary focus of one of the Obama administration's four pillars of educational reform—effective teachers and leaders. Educational reformers of all stripes have focused tremendous energy on thinking of ways to identify effective teachers and in turn recruit, retain, compensate, and support them. But what do teachers think of these ideas? What conclusions should reformers draw from teachers' perceptions? This report is the third release of data from the Retaining Teacher Talent study, conducted by Learning Point Associates and Public Agenda with the support of The Joyce Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The report suggests that what teachers think are good indicators of effectiveness—and what they think will make them more effective—are not always aligned with what policymakers or researchers think.
The changes under discussion for teacher evaluation, compensation, and working conditions will most directly affect teachers themselves; therefore, it is important to bring them into the debate. In this report, we do not take sides. Rather, we describe implications of the results of the nationwide survey for policymakers and for teachers who want to influence policy. Read the discussion of the methodology and access the full survey data from the questionnaire.
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