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Over the past decade, a growing body of research has confirmed that the quality of teaching is the single most powerful in-school factor that influences student learning. As a result, policymakers have turned their attention to increasing the effectiveness of teachers. The general consensus is that our nation needs teachers who are ready and willing to dramatically improve teaching, schools and schooling.
The American public is ready to test if teachers are the key to transforming teaching, schools and schooling. And, in states and communities across the country, there are teachers who are already demonstrating what is possible when teachers are truly trusted to effectively "call the shots" for their students and schools.
Teacher-powered schools are a unique and necessary addition to the school redesign conversation, and policymakers would greatly benefit from learning more about the advantages such schools offer states, cities, school districts, and families. In a political landscape that is saturated with reform efforts and initiatives, teacher-powered schools flip the traditional top-down model of reform, and offer teachers the opportunity to collaboratively lead their schools, while maintaining daily ties to their students. When teachers make the decisions influencing school success, they are ready and willing to accept accountability for outcomes.
Teacher-powered schools are a locally driven vehicle for K-12 reform, designed to meet the unique needs of students and the greater community. As a result, teachers create varying school structures and secure autonomy through various arrangements. While no two teacher-powered schools are exactly the same, they all share the common mission of providing a high-quality and enriching learning environment for students, while also making teaching a better profession for teachers.
Teacher-powered schools serve as a common sense solution that cuts across some of the longest-standing K-12 political and ideological divides. They can alleviate the tense political landscape because when teachers share full responsibility and accountability for school success, they address the many hot-button teacher policy issues themselves. Share information with teacher leaders you know about how to design and run their own teacher-powered schools.