Monday, July 11, 2011

Teaching for the Stars

We’ve all heard of “Dancing with the Stars.  Perhaps now is a great time for a new primetime competition called “Teaching for the Stars”.
The contestants would be the “stars” of so-called education “reform”.  The judges would be recognized, award-winning teachers who have actual extensive classroom teaching experience.
My list of judges would include the following:
Nancy Flanagan – National Board Certified Teacher, 1993 Michigan Teacher of the Year, and blogger for Education Week.

Anthony Cody -  National Board Certified Teacher, Developer of the “TeamScience” program, and blogger for Education Week.
Marion Brady -veteran teacher, administrator, curriculum designer and author.
Lisa Velmer Nielsen – Technology Innovation Manager for the New York City Department of Education and creator of “The Innovative Educator” blog.
Renee Moore – National Board Certified Teacher, 2001 Mississippi Teacher of the Year, Carnegie Fellow and blogger for the Teacher Leaders Network.
 The contestants would include the following:
Michelle Rhee – Former Chancellor of Washington D.C. Public Schools.
Arne Duncan – U.S. Secretary of Education.
Bill Gates – Co-Founder of Microsoft and current Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Geoffrey Canada – CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone.
Eric Hanushek – Economist and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.
Kevin Huffman – Tennessee’s Education Commissioner and former Teach For America Vice President.
Jeb Bush – Former governor of Florida.
Tom Luna – Idaho’s Superintendent of Public Instruction and former President of the International Society of Weights and Measures.
Jeanne Allen - President of the Center for Education Reform.
Michael Van Beek – Director of Education Policy for the Mackinac Center.
Wendy Kopp – Founder and CEO of Teach For America.
The contestants will be assigned to teach for an entire school year and be given a full time class load teaching subjects that are relevant to their backgrounds.
During the school year, the contestants will develop a portfolio consisting of the following:
Student assessment. This portfolio item will contain evidence that the teacher is able to use student assessment to further worthwhile and appropriate learning goals, to facilitate students’ growth  in the subject matter, and to inform and shape his or her teaching practice.
A demonstration lesson.  This portfolio item will provide evidence the teacher is able to use explanation, demonstration, and discussion to facilitate students’ direct involvement in the exploration and acquisition of important knowledge and skills relevant to established standards for the subject being taught.  A 20 minute uninterrupted and unedited video will also be part of this portfolio item.
A group project. This portfolio item will provide evidence that the teacher is able to plan, implement, and guide student learning experiences that promote and develop student teamwork. A 20 minute uninterrupted and unedited video will also be part of this portfolio item.
A summarization of documented accomplishments. This portfolio item will provide evidence of the teacher’s ability to impact student learning through work with colleagues, professionals, families, and the community, and as a learner.
Each week during the hour-long show the judges will review closed-circuit videos of the contestants teaching their classes, and/or the other endeavors they participate in as a classroom teacher.
The judges each week would rate every contestant’s performance on a scale of 1 to 10 which would accumulate until the end of the series.  These weekly scores would account for 30% of the total score.
The final episodes of the show would provide an overview of the contestants’ portfolios and the judges ratings of the portfolios would account for 40% of the total score.
Finally, viewers will vote via the Internet or telephone for their “best” teacher and these votes would account for 30% of the total score.
The grand prize winner will receive a check for $37.48 to go toward their favorite education foundation.
The show will be co- hosted by Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post and by the infamous teacher satirist,  Mr. Teachbad.