Tag Archives: professional development

PACE: Fast-Growing Membership Option for Colorado Professional Teachers

The school year is back underway in most places in Colorado, and that means it’s time for an important reminder: Just as parents ought to be informed consumers and make wise decisions concerning educational options that suit their children’s needs, so teachers ought to be informed consumers in choosing a membership organization that meets their professional needs. As far as membership organizations go, the new kid on the block in our state is the two-year-old, fast-growing Professional Association of Colorado Educators (PACE), “a Colorado-based, non-profit, professional educator association, dedicated to the academic and personal growth of every student.” Recently, PACE’s director of membership Megan Leatham explained what her organization is about with my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow on an 8-minute iVoices podcast. For $180 a year, a full-time Colorado teacher has access to the following PACE membership benefits:

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Teacher Pay & Tenure System Like Pounding Square Peg into Round Hole

Have you ever tried to pound a square peg into a round hole (or vice versa)? How about after that doesn’t work a couple times, you go out and buy 100 of the same square pegs to keep trying what already failed? It makes about as much sense as most systems we have today for training, developing, paying, and retaining teachers. Sure, we’ve seen some progress with performance pay programs — Colorado has produced some leading examples — but the old-fashioned salary schedule still persists. Pay teachers based on seniority and academic credentials. Never mind, as the Denver Post‘s Jeremy Meyer observes from Urban Institute education director Jane Hannaway (with supporting evidence compiled here), that teachers overwhelmingly improve during the first four years of their career and then just stop: “It’s one of our very consistent findings,” said Hannaway, presenter last week at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting in San Diego, citing at least two recent studies of teacher effectiveness. “The reason of course is not clear, but it’s in study after study,” she said. “Teachers do get better (in the beginning). If you look at the same teacher at Year One, they look a lot better at […]

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