ED Kicks Off International Summit on the Teaching Profession

Later today, Secretary Arne Duncan will join teachers and education leaders from around the world in New York City, to open the first session of the International Summit on the Teaching Profession.  The summit, which will be held today and tomorrow, is the first of its kind being convened by U.S. Department of Education. The event will aim to identify and elaborate on best practices from around the world for recruiting, preparing and supporting teachers in ways that effectively enhance the teaching profession and ultimately, elevate student performance.

Throughout the summit, participants will engage in open and in-depth discussions centered on learning best practices in the following four areas: Teacher Recruitment and Preparation; Development, Support and Retention of Teachers; Teacher Evaluation and Compensation; and Teacher Engagement in Education Reform.

The March summit is a first step in what will be an ongoing dialogue among participating countries about best practices in both teaching and learning. In the weeks following the summit, the Asia Society will lead host organizations in publishing a summary paper to document for the public the insights shared and lessons learned.

Secretary Duncan, Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development Angel Gurría, and General Secretary of Education International Fred van Leeuwen, previewed the summit in a op-ed on the HuffingtonPost.com.

Across the globe, education is the great equalizer, the one force that can consistently overcome differences in background, culture, and privilege. Increasing teacher autonomy and participation in reform is vital not just to improving student outcomes but to elevating the teaching profession. We reject the prevailing wisdom that it can’t be done.

You can read more about the summit, including a list of participants and the summit’s agenda, and you can also watch the closing sessions of the event LIVE online starting at 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 17.

4 Comments

  1. I asked my 8th grade students what 7% of $20.00 was – they told me they needed a calculator. Enough said.

  2. @ sadie. In Chicago, Illinois, where Mr. Duncan ran the school district, the annual elementary school test is the ISAT.
    I noticed that my son’s computational skills actually declined in 4th grade from September to January. I wanted to know why. I asked and found out that starting with 4th grade the school, the school issued calculators to be used during class and at home.

    I was told that this was to prepare the children to do well on the ISAT, a test that permits students to use calculators. Like you, I was appalled.

    The result is that my oldest boy’s computational skills declined, even as his math test scores hit 99.
    The ISAT was watered down in 2007, but that’s another story.

    I have found that the principal and teachers will compromise the integrity of their curriculum to hit test score goals.

    When the children have to test for entry into a competitive high school and are not able to use a calculator, reality intrudes.

  3. standardized testing must be stopped. I am a fourth grade teacher who was recently told that I have to let my students use calculators on the tcap even though we have not used them all year and do not feel that we need to resort to cheating. back in the day, only certain special education students were allowed such modifications. now the government is saying all students need this modification inorder to bring up test scores. Forget doing any real teaching like learning how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide, just give them a calculator. I have been teaching for over ten years and I have always had good test scores. I teach the way that I was taught when it comes to getting the core skills in math. There is no easy way out of learning fluency in math. If students do not learn this cognitive process, the building block of all math, then their understanding of inverse relationships will forever be a mystery to them. My job is to teach, I have confidence in my ability to do this. I also have confidence in my students. Please don’t make me put a calculator in their hands two weeks before tcap. I did not use them last year although the principal advised us to, and my scores were higher than all of the other classes 3rd-8th at my school. My fellow teachers felt pressured into using calculators with their students. In all honesty this is not about trying to help educate our students this is about finding short cuts to get to the money that No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top dangles in front of each school district. With unattainable goals set by our government (who have never step foot inside of a classroom)more and more cases of cheating are being investigated among our schools. Is this what Mr. Duncan is hoping to accomplish? School systems that are as greedy and corrupt as our government. I started teaching to make a difference in a child’s life. Last week, while begging my principal not to make me use calculators on our tcap in two weeks. He said that it didn’t not matter whether it was good or bad for the students all that matter was getting high test scores so that the district could get more funding. I am not blaming my principal or supervisors they are only doing what all other districts are doing. I no longer have any control over what goes on in my classroom, what is being taught or how it is being taught. I am not a poor performance teacher, I have always made gains and teach to the best of my ability. I will be one of many in my perfession to leave my job because of the stupidity of standardized testing. I don’t even make 40,000 a year and have never been given any type of bonus for my efforts. Something has got to give.

  4. I will like new information about the new view to elevating the teaching profession of Physical Education in school and University.

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