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In Your School

American teachers are ready and eager to play a larger and more important role in improving student learning—and the American public very much wants them to be able to do that.

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, and as a result much of the attention of policymakers has turned to increasing the effectiveness of teachers. The general consensus is that our nation needs teachers who are ready and willing to take on new professional roles to transform teaching, schools and schooling.

Trouble is, while these teachers exist, the vast majority of them do not have the authority to lead this transformation.

For most of the past 150 years we offered teachers one deal: we don't give you professional authority and we won't hold you accountable either. In recent years we have been asserting something different: we don't give you professional authority, but we will hold you accountable. Tying teachers' evaluations to test scores, even though teachers don't control the curricula, budget or selection of their colleagues is a solid example of this deal. Many teachers are strongly resisting this backwards deal, as most professionals would.

Teacher-powered schools offer teachers a new deal.

In exchange for collective authority to make the decisions that matter most for student success, teachers will also agree to accept collective accountability. New research from Education Evolving finds that a majority of teachers are interested in this new deal. Some already have accepted it. And, the public wants them to pursue the opportunity.

If you're interested in harnessing the expertise and know-how of your colleagues and community to create your own teacher-powered school, learn more in our step-by-step online guide for teachers.