April 25, 2019, 12:00-1:30pm. Despite an emerging political and empirical consensus about the importance of adequate and equitable funding for high-quality K-12 education, the complex, esoteric field of school finance can be frustrating for policymakers, parents, and the public. How can school finance data and research be presented in an accessible and policy-relevant manner, while also preserving the necessary rigor and sophistication? Register here.
Book Discussion and Recpetion with Debbie Almontaser and Randi Weingarten. Leading While Muslim examines the lived experiences of American Muslim principals who serve in public schools post-9/11 to determine whether global events, political discourse, and the media coverage of Islam and Muslims have affected their leadership and spirituality.
Civic Education: Is There Common Ground, March 13, 2019, noon, 555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC. Speakers: Leo Casey, Executive Director, Albert Shanker Institute; Peter Levine, Research Professor in Philosophy, Tisch College Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship; Public Affairs, and Research Professor in the Tufts Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute at Tufts University; Jessica Marshall, co-author, “Let’s Go There: Making A Case for Race, Ethnicity and a Lived Civics Approach to Civic Education ;doctoral candidate, Northwestern University; former Director of Social Science and Civic Engagement for the Chicago Public Schools; Joe Rogers, Director of Public Engagement and Government Affairs, Center for Educational Equity, Teachers College, Columbia University. Watch the video.
Co-Sponored by the Shanker Institute and the AFT, they are held the second Wednesday of the month during the school year from noon to 2:00 pm at 555 New Jersey Ave, NW. Watch all the conversation videos 2013-2018..
There is vital economic dimension to the American promise of a free, quality pubic education for all of its youth. In its simplest aspect, government needs to provide adequate funding to public schools. As the recent wave of teacher strikes and protests have highlighted, many states are far from meeting that basic obligation. A more complex economic aspect is how government funds are distributed and used. The growth of charter schools, and the resultant diversion of public funds from public district schools to charter schools, had added a new element in the distribution and use of public funds, raising a series of questions. From a variety of perspectives and grounded in studies in different states, our panel addressed these issues. Watch the video.
Teaching in Context book reception at the American Education Research Association annual meeting, Sunday April 15, 2018, 6:30-8:00 p.m., New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, 1535 Broadway, Astor Ballroom, New York NY. More information and registration.
Puerto Rico: The Road to Recovery and Reconstruction (#rebuildPR), March 1, 2018, co-sponsored by Albert Shanker Institute, American Federation of Teachers and Hispanic Federation. With the future of Puerto Rico hanging in the balance, this national conference focused on what needs to be done to rebuild the Puerto Rican economy and its educational system in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Watch the video.
Now that the states have completed and submitted their first ESSA plans, it is an appropriate time to ask if the promise of ESSA is being realized. Which states and districts have used this new freedom to draw back from testing overreach, establishing more balanced approaches to student promotion, teacher evaluation and school accountability? Are states and districts using ESSA to provide the needed resources and supports to struggling schools, almost all of which serve students with the greatest needs? If ESSA’s promise is not being realized, why not? What, if any, role has a Trump/DeVos Department of Education played in the first fruits of ESSA? Our panelists addressed these questions among others. Watch the video.
Wednesday October 25, 2017. More information
In recent years there have been signs of a resurgent grassroots movement to integrate schools. From a variety of perspectives, our panelists examined the state of segregation by race and class in America’s schools, and the promising initiatives and practices that are emerging in the renewed movement to integrate America’s schools. Watch the video.
From a variety of different perspectives and work with different populations of vulnerable students, our panel examined the challenges facing American educators and the best practices educators have developed to address them. Watch the conversation..
Our panel of researchers and practitioners addressed this question by examining both the current state of research and on-the-ground efforts at school improvement that have worked. Watch the conversation video.
Current education policies haven’t sufficiently leveraged the organizational and interpersonal aspects of schools which can benefit educators and students collectively. Instead, the focus has been primarily on technical and individual-level approaches. However, a focus on individuals seems insufficient and limited; a simultaneous and equally strong focus on strengthening the organizations where teachers work appears sorely needed.
Promoting Children's Well Being. This panel examined 21st century approaches to a culture of health in and with schools. Watch the video.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Watch the Conversation.
Sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers, this conversation series held the second Wednesay of the month during the school year, is designed to engender lively and informative discussions on important educational issues. Watch the videos from the last three seasons.
Most students who immigrate to the United States enter our schools as English language learners (ELLs). These students face the challenge of simultaneously learning a new language and the same subject material as students for whom English is the native language, while struggling to adapt to a new, often alien culture. Few groups are more poorly served by our schools. The divisive, hateful rhetoric of racial, ethnic and religious bigotry that has been unleashed in the current presidential election campaign has increased the obstacles faced by these students, and left them shaken and unsure about their place in American society. What is the appropriate response of American educators to this critical situation? What must be done to provide English language learners with the quality education that addresses their specific needs? What pedagogical strategies best meet the needs of English Language Learners? What must be done to provide students with a pathway to citizenship and full incorporation into American society? How should educators confront expressions of prejudice and bigotry against immigrant students and other English language learners? Our panel will address these and other questions from different vantage points and experiences.Speakers include: Steven Choi, Executive Director, The New York Immigration Coalition and Joe Luft, Executive Director, Internationals Network for Public Schools, Inc. Watch the video.
May 11, 2016. When the first collective bargaining agreements in American education were negotiated a half century ago, they were largely focused on wages, working conditions and due process. School district officials resisted the inclusion of educational issues as encroachments on “management prerogatives.” Meanwhile, the fledging teacher unions modelled themselves after progressive unions, such as the United Auto Workers and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, using industrial-style contracts as a template for their own collective bargaining. But the democratic idea that teachers should have a collective voice in their educational workplace could not be contained within such limited parameters. For a generation, teacher unions have struggled, with increasing success, to expand collective bargaining into the professional sphere. Our panel will investigate some of the most promising efforts on that front around the country, as teacher unions find new ways to negotiate contracts for educational innovation and improvement and build new partnerships with community around that work. Watch the video.
Controversial new regulations for teacher education have been proposed by the U.S. Ed Dept. Although there are objections to the regulations, the controversy centers on the proposed measures of teaching performance -- student test scores, as seen through the prism of value-added measurements, and surveys. Are there better alternatives? Can they be replicated at scale? Given the need for teacher ed schools to prepare teachers to do well from day one, what is the best way to ensure that all teacher prep programs are of the highest quality? Wed., April 13, noon to 2:00 pm. Watch the video.
The notion that teaching and learning are social endeavors may seem obvious. Yet, the implications of that statement for research, policy and practice are less so. This conference foregrounds recent evidence showing that social aspects of schools and school systems deeply influence school improvement. The conference will also encourage in-depth debate on the practical implications of this evidence. Watch the videos here.
"No Excuses" Schools and the Education of Impoverished Students of Color. March 9, 2016, noon to 2:00 pm, 555 New Jersey Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20001. More information and registration Watch the video..
Co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Howard University School of Education,Teach For America, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Albert Shanker Institute, this panel discussed why teacher diversity is important and how it can be strengthened through recruitment, retention, and continued support for teachers of color. Watch the video and downloard the ASI report here.
February 10, 2016. View the video and download the materials.
This two-panel conversation focused on theresults of the annual “PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes toward the Public Schools,” and their implications for policy and practice, taking on the question of how government, schools of education, school districts and schools can promote, nurture and support quality teaching. Watch the video.
Recent research and news reports show that even very young children--and particularly young children of color--can be subject to harsh and overly punitive school disciplinary practices. At the same time, the need for schools to be safe and orderly places to teach and to learn remains a top priority in poll after poll of parents and the public.These are the issues our speakers will discuss.
The focus of this Good Schools seminar was to share effective policies and strategies to enhance school climate, mitigate behavior problems, and support improved performance, with special attention to supporting labor-management teams as they work to comply with new rules and guidelines on behavior management. The discussion bridged a wide range of topics, including: schools as caring communities; providing the social, emotional and medical supports that students need; the challenge of implicit bias; and alternative behavior and classroom management strategies
The panelists examined the Florida reforms and their educational impact from a variety of perspectives—from the educational frontline in classrooms and schools to the overview of system analysts.. Watch the video.
The first panel from 12:00-2:00 pm will focus on "New Orleans After the Deluge: What Happens To A Community Dispossessed," taking up the broader questions of the post-Katrina economic and political changes in New Orleans and how they shaped developments in its public schools. The second panel from 2:15-4:00 will focus on "Public Education in New Orleans: What Is The State of New Orleans Schools After A Decade of Market Reforms?," and will address the specific question of the current state of the city’s public schools.
Using the C3 framework developed for teaching social studies and civics with the Common Core, this workshop will investigate the use of inquiry lessons to teach the theme of voting rights. This panel is part of the AFT's TEACH conference. Watch the panel.
Improvement is as much about the capacities of educators and school leaders (human capital) as it is about the capacities and resources that are created between them (social capital) at all levels of the school organization and broader school system. This panel is part of AFT's TEACH Conference. Watch the video.
In this workshop, Matt Di Carlo discusses the strengths and weaknesses of value-added models, with a particular emphasis on their use in teacher evaluations. This event was part of the AFT´s 2015 TEACH conference. Watch the video.
Co-sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Public Health Association, and the National Association of School Nurses. Watch the video.
Speakers: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sara Goldrick-Rab, Beth Huang, Zakiya Smith; Moderator: Mary Cathryn Ricker. Watch the video.
A panel sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute at the Fighting Inequality Conference at Georgetown University.
Is there a way for education and economic policy to escape from the paralyzing dynamic of political polarization that has confounded progress on so many issues? Watch the Conversation.
A robust and vibrant public square is an essential foundation of democracy. It is the place where the important public issues of the day are subject to free and open debate, and our ideas of what is in the public interest take shape. Watch the sessions.
In an era of growing racial and class segregation in American education, what must be done to provide every student with a genuine opportunity to learn? April 8, noon-2:00.
Co-sponsored with the American Federation of Teachers and held the second Wednesday of every month during the school year, this series is designed to engender lively and informative conversations on important educational issues. We invite speakers with diverse perspectives. Watch videos from the conversations.
How do we teach discipline and maintain order, while protecting against the effects of persistent, unconscious biases? How do we ensure that schools are warm, welcoming, fair, and effective in the treatment of all students? Watch the video.
There is concern that, as the U.S. population and student body is growing more racially and ethically diverse, the teacher workforce does not yet reflect this diversity. In fact, diversity should go beyond having more black and brown teachers in front of students. Diversity is also about equipping all teachers (regardless of race) to work with heterogeneous classrooms and diverse schools. Watch the video.
The basic provisions of Title I have barely changed in 50 years, and neither has the persistent inequality of educational opportunities offered to poor children. What more should Congress do? Watch the video.
In his 18 years as an opinion columnist for the New York Times, Bob Herbert championed the working poor and middle class. After filing his last column in 2011, he set off on a journey across the country to report on Americans who were being left behind in an economy that has never fully recovered from the Great Recession. The portraits of those he encountered fuel his new book, Losing Our Way.
This panel will examine the terrain of teacher compensation from a number of different perspectives, offering their recommendations on what a good compensation policy would entail. Watch the Conversation.
From a variety of different perspectives, our panel will address two vital questions: What are the systemic causes of this mismatch of educational resources and educational need? What policies could be adopted to remedy this mismatch, and attract experienced, accomplished teachers into schools with high educational need? Watch the Conversation.
This book follows the author through his coming-of-age story, beginning as a naïve young man growing up in the drug-tainted, community-centered projects of the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and continuing through his struggles to mature and give back through a career teaching middle school math.
Twelve years after the passage of No Child Left Behind and five years into Race to the Top, America finds itself in a ‘test and punish’ system of school accountability that poorly serves the nation and its students. Watch the Conversation.
Sponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and the American Federation of Teachers, this conversation series is designed to engender lively and informative discussions on important educational issues. We deliberately invite speakers with diverse perspectives, including views other than those of the AFT and the Albert Shanker Institute. What is important is that these participants are committed to genuine engagement with each other. Watch the past conversations and register for upcoming conversations.
How do we ensure that all schools are warm, welcoming, fair, and effective in the treatment of all students? How do we maintain safety and order, while protecting against the effects of the persistent, unconscious biases that plaugue our society?
This New York City conference (co-sponsored with the UFT) was designed to allow participants to share their expertise in CTE policy, practice, and research, as well as to deepen their understanding of how quality CTE can serve to expand the educational and career horizons of all students. Participants also
Co-sponsored with the American Federation of Teachers and held the second Wednesday of every month during the school year, this series is designed to engender lively and informative conversations on important educational issues. We deliberately invites speakers with diverse perspectives, including views other than those of the AFT and the Albert Shanker Institute. What is important is that these participants are committed to genuine engagement with each other. Watch the Conversation videos.
In the wake of No Child Left Behind, the demands on educational testing are heavier than ever – from diagnosis to instructional improvement to gate-keeping to accountability for students, teachers, and schools. What would a useful assessment system look like at the state and local levels? What are the conceptual and practical issues that must be confronted to achieve such a system?
Districts across the country are struggling to improve low-performing schools, many using school improvement formulas imbedded in state and federal law. But what can research tell us about the relevance of family and school context to learning? About the “social capital” such contexts produce? About how effective these efforts have been and are likely to be? And about what is really known about “what works” to help schools improve?
The quest to define and measure teacher effectiveness has sparked useful research on many different fronts, using different means to gauge various important outcomes. But it has also prompted many ieffective, punitive redesigns of techer evaluation systems. How do we create a system that is clear, fair, and useful for improving practice?
The fifth meeting of district partners in the Albert Shanker Institute’s “good schools” seminar series was convened in the wake of the first round of the Obama Administration’s $4.3 billion Race to the Top competition. Although only two states were declared as winners, scores of others made plans and passed laws that changed state education systems in ways that could be positive or negative, depending on the care with which these changes are planned and implemented.
In this February, 2010 off-the-record Conversation, top federal and state policymakers, educators, business and labor leaders, practitioners, researchers and other experts with an interest in Career and Technical Education (CTE), including Education Secretary Arne Duncan and American Federation of Teachers and Shanker Institute President Randi Weingarten discussed the achievements and challenges facing high quality CTE. Following the Conversation, one of several sponsored by the Institute on key education topics, the Institute published a Compendium of the issues and questions addressed by the group.
In addition to shoring up decimated education budgets, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is a possible funding source for state and local education reform efforts. This seminar examines what the law really says and the sorts of projects it might fund to: improve teacher quality, develop effective curriculum, improve the achievement of low-performing students, develop useful assessments, etc.
In this November 2008 Good Schools Seminar, panelists including Doug Harris, David Osher, and Randi Weingarten discuss the evidence and policy on compensation and staffing policies for teachers in the U.S.
This seminar series is part of an effort to build a network of union leaders, district superintendents, and researchers to work collaboratively on improving public education through a focus on teaching.
This is the first in a series of two-day seminars, designed to help build a network of union leaders, district superintendents, and researchers to work collaboratively on improving public education through a focus on teaching.
Research has demonstrated that students’ vocabulary and background knowledge are vital to reading comprehension, and that poor children and struggling readers are disproportionately disadvantaged by this fact. What are the implications of these findings for improving curriculum and instruction at the elementary and secondary levels? And how do schools impart this knowledge to students who don’t read well enough to acquire it from the written word?
Despite the continuing “math wars” debates, there is an emerging consensus on the need for U.S. math teachers to improve both their content and pedagogical knowledge. Key researchers (who were selected using an informal peer review process) have been asked to provide an overview on recent research about what mathematics teachers ned to know and be able to do to improve the performance of all students.
The importance of early reading success to later educational achievement has now become common wisdom. Federal agencies, state governments, and individual schools and districts across the country have initiated programs to improve beginning reading instruction, including strategies to identify struggling readers as early as possible. But what comes next? Once a reading problem is detected, can it actually be averted? And, if so, with what “treatment”? In recent years, neuroscientists and reading researchers have pursued a preventive model of reading instruction that could also be wildly successful. What does this research tell us about what goes on in the brain of a struggling reader, before and after intervention? And how can schools and districts translate this research into classroom materials and strategies that really work to prevent reading failure?
Unless states step in to help turn standards into the tools that schools need, the promise of standards-based reform will be lost. That was the message of a March 2002 national forum for state educators, policymakers, teacher unionists, and business leaders on the challenges of curriculum and professional development to meaningful standards-based reform. The event was cosponsored by the Albert Shanker Institute and Achieve, Inc.