Teachers Matter: New Book Highlights 2012 Importance of Educator Effectiveness

I’m back. Yes, they almost had to pry me away from my new Legos and video games that have consumed much of my past 9 days. But really that’s OK. This new year brings a lot to get excited about, and get busy about. My Independence Institute friends are moving into their new offices, but that doesn’t slow down the need to move forward on important education issues.

One such major issue is how Colorado K-12 public schools recruit, hire, pay, evaluate and retain their teachers. The implementation of the state’s educator effectiveness law occupied a lot of time and attention last year, and an important — but unusual — deadline comes up next month. The rules adopted by the State Board of Education either must be ratified or repealed by the state legislature by February 15.

The hope also remains that this debate propels more local momentum toward important educator compensation reforms like those highlighted in my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow’s 2011 issue paper on the subject. Time to stay tuned in….

Meanwhile, the national debate on teacher quality presses forward. And that brings an important contribution compiling all the key research on the question in the new book Teachers Matter by Manhattan Institute senior fellow (and now one of Colorado’s own) Marcus Winters. This professionally-made 5-minute video, including a few key interview excerpts with the author, frames the issue well (H/T Jay Greene):

Nice. So this is 2012, huh? Well, I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from me and my Education Policy Center friends about educator effectiveness in Colorado as the pages on the calendar keep turning. And that’s just one of the important issues on which we’ll keep focusing. It’s good to be back.