Teachers to Listen, Learn, Share Practices to Improve Student Achievement

April 27, 2004

“Over the last year,” Paige said, “senior Department officials and staff have been visiting schools around the country and have seen firsthand the impressive results of many successful teachers. They are doing what it takes to eliminate the achievement gap for our at-risk students,” said Paige. “Effective teachers are the key to fulfilling the promise of the No Child Left Behind Act. The Teacher-to-Teacher outreach initiative will highlight real-world examples of how these teachers translate education research into practice that works in the classroom.”

The four-pronged Teacher-to-Teacher initiative features:

  • Teacher Roundtables—This spring and summer, the U.S. Department of Education will host discussions with teachers around the country on effective teaching, professional development, teacher leadership and ways to advance the teaching profession. The emphasis will be on listening and engaging teachers about what support they need to meet the academic needs of students.

  • Summer Workshops—Teachers and education experts who have improved student achievement and closed the achievement gap will share experiences with fellow teachers on how to emulate these programs. Teachers will also receive additional resources, such as online assistance, to support them as they incorporate new strategies in the classroom.

  • Research-to-Practice Summit—To be held this summer in Washington, D.C., the summit comprises a day of listening and learning from experts in the field of scientifically based research and teachers with success in improving their students’ achievement levels.

  • Teacher E-mail Updates—Electronic updates will keep teachers apprised of the latest policy, research and developments in the profession.

The initiative also includes a new Web site— http://www.teacherquality.us/ —with information about effective practices and initiatives at the state and local levels and upcoming teacher-oriented events. Educators may apply for one of the summer workshops or register for the e-mail updates on the Web site.

These initiatives build on the work of the Teacher Assistance Corps (TAC), which the secretary formed last summer to support state efforts to implement the highly qualified teacher requirements of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Comprising 45 teachers, district officials, leaders from higher education and national experts, the TAC has visited 49 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, with the 50th state visit scheduled for next week. In addition to clarifying the law, offering guidance and feedback on state efforts, and sharing information about promising practices from other states, the teams heard about unique situations and specific state challenges and learned what teachers need to do their jobs better.

“Teachers are in the classroom every day, working with children from all walks of life, with a range of backgrounds and abilities. Their dedication to educating all children is our shared mission and passion, and President Bush and I are committed to providing teachers with the support they need to help every student succeed,” Paige said.