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.


cathybrackett said...

I can't wait to watch. But please, don't use students in my school as their "demonstration class". The following season will mean too much remediation for the rest of us REAL teachers.

MisterRogers said...

Yeah, the show would somehow have to compensate the students and the real teachers you mention.

Jane said...

What a great panel of judges! Can't wait to see how well the contestants score for the year and I would like to see footage of how they spend time outside of the classroom doing things for the classroom. If anything, maybe it will make them pause or enlist the help of real educators, before they make educational policy. Thanks for your post MisterRogers!

The Innovative Educator said...

Thanks for selecting me as a judge! When do I start???

I have a few changes though. I'd like to pit the traditional school models against the passion-driven models like the ones I wrote about here

I'd also like a major part of the is to be student's personal success plans and student input into how good the teacher was at helping them meet their goals. I'd love to see student feedback and response to passion-driven learning environments vs data-driven learning environments. I'd like to hear from parents as well.

Kathleen Kosobud said...

Whoa! Save me a front row seat! I'd like to second the Innovative Educator's suggestions for student and parent participation. I would also want to see contestants providing evidence of universal design of instruction appropriate to meeting the needs of diverse learners.

Anne said...

"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."

what will arne and jeb teach? :)

janofmi said...

HMMMM...The only thing I might change is the year-long placement at one school. I think they should teach a trimester in 3 different regions so that they can have an idea of how the idea of a National Core Curriculum works in an inner city Washington DC school, a rural Alabama school and maybe a western school that has a high population of English Language learners.

And, in the requirements did I recognize a bit of language from a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards portfolio?

They might assign you to Hell for this Dale.

Jan of MI