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A Charter School Board President on Building Trust through Teacher Voice

Jason Renker—TCF’s editorial director and the former school board president of the Learning Community Charter School in Jersey City—explains why LCCS values teacher voice and shows how that commitment has helped the school make tough decisions together and emerge stronger from the process.

Tags: teacher voice, smarter charter series, new jersey, learning community charter school, charter schools

Attracting and Retaining Talent with a Teacher-Centered Culture

September 4, 2014 COMMENTARY BY: The Century Foundation TOPICS: Education, Promoting Effective Collaboration in Education , A Smarter Charter

On average, charter schools turn over 24 percent of their teachers each year. But at Soulsville Charter School in Memphis, TN, teachers stick around. Soulsville math teachers Jon and Teresa Alfuth explain that the key to Soulsville’s retention is giving teachers a voice in the school.

Tags: teacher voice, soulsville charter school, smarter charter series, charter schools

Want to Fix Obama’s Bad Education Policy? Start With These Two New Books

TCF senior fellow, Richard D. Kahlenberg writes about the rhetoric surrounding education reform for the New Republic.

Public school teaching, writes education reporter Dana Goldstein, has “become the most controversial profession in America.” The “ineffective teacher,” she writes, has become “a feared character,” comparable to “crack babies or welfare queens” in earlier eras. Long accustomed to being the punching bag of the right, teachers and teachers unions are newly targeted by Democratic education reformers; the Obama administration, too, has championed a series of center-right reforms fashionable among hedge fund managers. Not surprisingly, between 2008 and 2012, teacher job satisfaction “plummeted from 62 to 39 percent, the lowest level in a quarter century,” Goldstein notes in her smart and valuable new book, The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession.

Read the full article.

Tags: teachers unions, teachers, teacher unions, school system, school performance, education reform, education policy

Thin Contracts Can Provide a Good Balance

Just one in eight charter schools is unionized, but TCF intern Kyra Littlejohn says that Amber Charter School’s “thin contract” could point the way forward for other charter schools to provide for greater teacher voice.

Tags: teacher voice, teacher unions, smarter charter series, amber charter school

East Mediterranean Pipeline Dreams

Blogger Allison Good presents her original reporting on the potential for East Mediterranean natural gas cooperation -- but, even with U.S. interests, this pipeline dream might never wake up. 

Tags: turkey, pipeline, palestinian authority, noble energy, jordan, italy, israel, greece, foreign policy, foreign affairs

2-Year Students Have Long Had 4-Year Dreams

At The Chronicle of Higher Education, Stephen J. Handel quotes TCF senior fellow Richard D. Kahlenberg on the low number of students who transfer from 2-year to 4-year degree programs. "Some look at these numbers and suggest community colleges should downplay the idea of transfer," Kahlenberg says, "but it makes more sense to improve and strengthen transfer paths."




Most K-12 education reforms are about trying to make "separate but equal" schools for rich and poor work well. The results of these efforts have been discouraging. The Century Foundation looks at ways to integrate public schools by economic status through public school choice. At the higher education level, we examine ways to open the doors of selective and non-selective institutions to students of modest means.

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