A Renewed Focus in 2015

Posted by on January 22, 2015 in Commentary, Featured | 0 comments

At the beginning of every New Year, there is a sense of a fresh start, a renewed focus or a stronger commitment related to the things that are most important to us, both individually and collectively.

As an organization, the Commission believes the time is ripe to refocus the nation’s attention on our mission of ensuring that every child has access to competent, caring teaching in a school organized for success. This month, we are launching a collective effort among a national coalition of organizations to support and develop the conditions that will lead to equitable access to great teaching in all schools, for all students.

Through this initiative NCTAF will bring together researchers, policy experts, corporate partners, educators,  and other key constituents to contribute their expertise to a positive, collaborative, action-oriented report to be delivered in early 2016 that will establish a roadmap for policy and practice initiatives for federal policymakers, organizational partners, educators, and state and local departments of education.

So, what can you expect from NCTAF in 2015?

  • Multiple convenings: Starting in January, NCTAF, its partners, and sponsors will bring together experts and practitioners around issues impacting the teaching continuum, including, but not limited to, the effective implementation of college and career ready standards, the meaningful integration of technology, and professional learning and development. These convenings will play a pivotal role in developing and informing the content of the 2016 report.
  • Case studies: NCTAF is building a repository of best practices, case studies, and positive examples of various components of great teaching to highlight what is working well in schools, districts and states across the country. This information will be shared at all levels. For example, our friend and partner, Stephanie Hirsh from Learning Forward, issued a call to capture stories that show effective professional learning in action. NCTAF will be helping to spread the word about Learning Forward’s call and share success stories that we find from the field with them.
  • Action-based research & tools: In order to meet the needs of the education community for real-time and ongoing support, NCTAF and partners will develop tools and strategies to support teachers in both their classrooms and careers. We will also inform campaigns at all levels about the research and effective policy and practice related to great teaching. In addition, we will establish a collective research agenda to ensure that the education community is assessing and refining key components that yield success for all students, strengthening the evidence base to document which practices have impact.

This year, as we strive to refocus the nation on what matters most, we are essentially laying the foundation for a multi-year undertaking to ensure great teaching in all schools. 2015 is just the beginning…

Melinda George, President, oversees NCTAF’s research, policy, and implementation projects, develops and maintains strategic partnerships, and provides thought leadership about teaching for the 21st century. Melinda served as NCTAF’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since 2011.

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