Changing How Schools and the Profession Are Organized: Building a Foundation for a National System of Teacher Career Ladders at the National Center on Education and the Economy
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CitationYang Keo, Seng-Dao. 2016. Changing How Schools and the Profession Are Organized: Building a Foundation for a National System of Teacher Career Ladders at the National Center on Education and the Economy. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractThis capstone examines the National Center on Education and the Economy’s (NCEE) efforts in its initial planning stage to lead the design of and build support for a proposed national system of teacher career ladders. In this career ladder system, teachers can voluntarily seek advanced certification leading up to the role of Master Teacher, and states can volunteer to use the system and determine how to use it. I describe my role in strengthening NCEE’s relationship with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), in an effort to establish a partnership and move the initiative forward. I also examine comprehensive teacher career ladders and career advancement initiatives in top-performing jurisdictions (i.e., Singapore, Shanghai, and Australia) and within the United States (i.e., Arizona, Iowa, New York, and the District of Columbia). Any national initiative seeking to influence teaching and learning will require the collaboration of many powerful cross-sector organizations and leaders, highly coordinated efforts, and legitimacy to sustain the political support needed for the initiative to be adopted by states and embraced by the teaching profession. Establishing a partnership with the NBPTS was challenging because of the organization’s leadership loss at the start of the project, which slowed the initiative’s planning stage. This was further complicated by a lack of system coherence and alignment, distrust within the public education system, and the system’s resistance to change. Because planning and implementation of a national teacher career ladder system will take years, and states and the profession must buy-in, there is a need to build the capacity of multiple generations of leaders who can carry this work forward within an evolving, decentralized education system.
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