Thursday, May 27, 2010

NH School Transformation Conference

I'm at tlhe University of Southern New Hampshire attending the nation's first state level summit designed to transform teacher education NH.

Much of the conference is being streamed live. You can go to the summit website to find the schedule and tune in. After the conference, the videos will be posted to the website.

Here are some points that have stood out so far.

Schools of education must go beyond partnerships and merge with K-12 to form K-20 systems.

Accountability is done to educators, not by educators. We have to take back and the direction of education from the testing companies.

Every job in the future is a learning job. It's not about teaching. It's about learning. Schools of education need to get out of the teacher prep business and get into educator talent development business.

Tom Carroll, president of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future presented last night's keynote from which many of the above points are drawn. Visit the site for more information.

I often hear people saying that our system of education is broken. I disagree. It is working perfectly. It is doing exactly what it was supposed to do and as David Warlick points out. No generation in history had been better prepared for work in the 19th century.

The system is NOT broken. It is OBSOLETE. Since it isn't broken, it can't be fixed. It must be replaced by something that works.

Today working groups comprised of state level policy makers, schools of education administration and faculty, and K-12 administrators and staff began figuring out how to built the new learning communities that will be needed in the 21st Century.

The first round of breakouts identified what they felt were the 6 biggest obstacles to transforming teacher education. Here's what the consensus was.
1) Shared vision is the number one barrier
2) Systems that limit the landscape of possibilities
3) Business as usual for public schools and universities
4) Limited clear leadership vision/accountabilities
5) Changing schools of ed and schools at the same time
6) Embedded time for Professional Development

Right now groups are beginning to develop action plans to overcome these obstacles. The commitment is here. The state board and regulators recognize that policy and rule must change in order to allow transformation. To that end, they have already eliminated the Carnegie Unit and mandated performance based assessment in place of time based assessment.

Many of the state's teacher institutions are here and want to retool, but some are not here. Only time will tell how this all plays out, but from what I see, NH is on the right track, but it's not going to be easy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!