Learning about teacher-powered schools

The school you are creating will be designed and run by your team. But why not learn from those who have come before you? Use these resources to explore the history, research, and theory behind teacher-powered schools. Discussing the successes and challenges that previous teams have faced will help members decide whether they want to commit to the journey and work ahead.

Resources

Must-read books and websites

Article.

Read about what teacher-powered schools are and why they are important to improving K-12 public education in America. By two teacher-powered thought leaders, Barnett Berry and Kim Farris-Berg.

Website.

Learn about this initiative to grow awareness, action, and support for teacher-powered schools in schools and districts nationwide.

Book.

Barnett Berry, Ann Byrd, and Alan J. Weider explore a bold new brand of teacher leader- ship, documenting the experiences of eight teacher leaders.

Book.

Edward J. Dirkswager leads a series of investigations on how being owners, rather than employees, can give teachers control of their professional activity.

Book.

Kim Farris-Berg, Edward J. Dirkswager, and Amy Junge answer the question: What would teachers do if they had the autonomy to collectively—with their colleagues—make decisions influencing school success?

Book.

Professor Richard Ingersoll asks: Are teachers more akin to professionals or factory workers in the amount of control they have over their work? And, what difference does it make?

List and overview of existing teacher-powered schools

Website.

This timeline shows the history of teacher-powered schools in the United States.

Website.

This resource features all the known K-12 public schools where teachers have collective autonomy to make decisions influencing school success. It also details their autonomy arrangements and areas of autonomy secured.

Supporting research, theory, and practices

Commentary.

Kim Farris-Berg explains how teachers with collective autonomy often create schools with cultures that emulate those of high-performing organizations.

Commentary.

Kim Farris-Berg describes how teacher autonomy can positively impact student achievement.

Newspaper article.

In this three-part blog, Marc Tucker explains the dangers of test-based accountability and teacher evaluation systems.

Book.

Teachers and other eduational experts make the case for embracing a democratic approach to education that places teachers exactly where they need to be--at the steering wheel of educational systems worldwide.

Report.

This report by the Annenberg Institute includes a case study on Social Justice Humanitas Academy and compelling research on the how teacher ownership enables teacher teams to make meaningful changes at their sites.

Report.

Findings from this 2014 CTQ-Global TeacherSolutions report on professional learning systems in six cities suggest that in non-U.S. cities where teacher-powered schools are the norm, teachers collaboratively learn and lead for the benefit of their whole school.

Book.

Margaret J. Wheatley pulls from quantum physics, chaos theory, and molecular biology to identify ways that organizations, including schools, can improve.

Newspaper article.

Beth Hawkins writes about two educators at teacher-powered schools who think teachers should be in charge.

Journal article.

Researcher C.R. Leana describes how the existence of trusting relationships between teachers is a significant predictor of improved student performance.

Report.

Education Resource Strategies and Center for Collaborative Education explore the question of how Boston Public Schools can strengthen and support autonomy and accountability across its portfolio to promote innovation for equity and high performance.

Report.

This 2014 report by Bruce Fuller, Anisah Waite, Celina Lee Chao with Iza Mari Benedicto begins to illuminate how teachers’ ties to each other differ across small schools, and how social cohesion flows from site-run management.

Journal article.

Professor Richard Ingersoll makes the case that, to improve teacher quality, schools need to go beyond holding teachers more accountable—by giving them more control.

Website.

Arne Duncan, the U.S. Secretary of Education, announces the launch of the Teach to Lead initiative and provides a rationale.

Commentary.

Charles Taylor Kerchner considers the question: Would more teacher-powered schools give the U.S. new educational ideas and variations in schooling?

Commentary.

Kim Farris-Berg asks: What if trusting teachers, not controlling them, is the key to school success?

Journal article.

Henry M. Levin gives a research-based argument that teachers might find useful for developing a democratic school governance model.

Current interest among teachers in creating teacher-powered schools

Commentary.

Kim Farris-Berg explores the question: If teachers had autonomy to collectively make decisions influencing whole school success, would they be interested?

Poll.

This poll indicates what most teachers know: the public trusts them as professionals.

Commentary.

Center for Teaching Quality CEO Barnett Berry tackles a report that describes teachers’ dissatisfaction with lack of autonomy in their work.

Report.

In this groundbreaking national opinion study, Education Evolving reports that 91 percent of Americans believe teachers should have greater influence over decisions that affect student learning, while 81 percent indicate they trust teachers to make “schools run better.”