Building the infrastructure for good education
Mandy Clark, Christopher Redding, F. Chris Curran
In Florida, students are returning to school with less learning loss due to COVID than students in many other states.
Mathematics and reading slumped even before the pandemic began, but there are signs of recovery. The results of this spring’s Florida Criteria Assessment show a 4 percentage point year-on-year increase in math proficiency and stable English proficiency. We must commend the hard work of teachers and students who have maintained their learning during the most difficult times.
This school year should strive to improve academic performance by revisiting teaching excellence – educational practices that lead to academic performance in school and success in life.
Great teachings are taking place every day in Florida. However, not all teachers have the system level support they need. The result is a small number of good teachers rather than a pattern of consistently good teaching to all students. Parents and policy makers often focus on differences in quality from school to school, but larger differences exist between classrooms.
How can we ensure every student gets a great education every day?
We need strong teachers and we need to create an infrastructure that supports good education.
Just as roads, water, and electricity make our daily lives easier, there are system-level factors that underpin good teaching.
Over the past year, educational researchers at the University of Florida have partnered with Impact Florida, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that believes good classroom instruction can move the needle in every student, to improve educational infrastructure. I’ve been researching structures. We reviewed extensive research and spoke extensively with educational leaders and teachers across the state. As a result, we identified five conditions that support teaching excellence as system-level factors that can have a significant impact on classroom instruction, student engagement, and learning.
The five conditions are: a shared vision of what good education looks like; the selection and implementation of quality teaching materials; the drivers of countless decisions at the district and school level; Transfer effective professional learning, empowered school leaders. Create a school culture centered on teaching excellence and effectively use data to drive teacher action based on progress monitoring and other data sources.
Collectively, these five conditions drive countless decisions at the district and school level, help teachers develop content knowledge and skills according to individual needs, and support continuing educational development. You should establish goals and routines to facilitate and tailor instruction to meet the needs of your students. And ultimately, it has a dramatic impact on teacher practice and student learning.
These conditions are not meant to add more work to the already demanding schedules of educators. Instead, they are meant to fade into the background, much like our physical infrastructure. They should work seamlessly and reinforce each other. If successful, this infrastructure will be taken for granted, making it easier for teachers to deliver better instruction every day.
Over the next few months, Impact Florida will share detailed research briefs prepared by University of Florida experts. It identifies best practices within the five criteria and helps teachers and education leaders enact them at all levels.
As our state seeks new ways to recruit teachers into our classrooms, it is even more important to build the infrastructure for teacher success. (parents, teachers, school leaders, system leaders, policy makers) to align and ensure excellence in education, not just in the pocket, but for every student, every day. increase.
Mandy Clark is president of Impact Florida, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that believes good education matters. F. Chris Curran is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Florida and Christopher Redding is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Florida.