CTAC’s work with communities, school districts, states, and the federal government gives us a broad perspective on the issues and on how policies play out at different system levels. Through our initiatives around the country, we hear stories behind the headlines from teachers, principals, parents, and policymakers—the people who are trying to make a difference. They often recount frustrations and triumphs related not so much to the particular initiative at hand but to larger conditions of practice, research or policy. Patterns emerge as we listen across schools and districts and states.
This blog conveys our thoughts and observations about the realities of practice and policy; about the conditions that hobble or help improvements in teaching and learning. The jumping off point for many posts will be aspects of major CTAC work—e.g., new teacher evaluation systems, school turnaround and the impact of policies on poverty. This entrée exposes the impact of forces large and small, from economic downturn to Congressional dysfunction to a teacher’s lack of time to coach a colleague seeking help.