Sunday, June 17, 2012
Jerry Weast, former superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland and a nationally recognized education leader, told the committee that working to improve teacher quality is the right approach, “but it will be harder than you think.” He advocated a balanced approach that, among other things, allows school districts of different sizes to use different management approaches, incorporates professional development programs that allow teachers to train other teachers and structures the work day to give teachers time to talk with each other.
Weast also outlined what he has defined as the five stages of change in improving schools:
• Discover existing conditions — talk with teachers and others in a school to find out what the problems are.
• Commit to universal college and career-ready outcomes for students and communicate to ensure community support.
• Evaluate the effectiveness of policies, practices and systems for such critical components as student involvement; alignment of curriculum, instruction and assessment; teaching quality; an efficient work organization; and shared accountability.
• Engage and empower employees to foster trust and collaboration.
• Innovate and monitor for continuous improvement.