The Changing Face of American Education

Cross-posted from the White House Blog.

One of the greatest challenges facing our country is the coming retirement of more than 1 million baby-boomer teachers. This challenge has presented us with a once in a lifetime opportunity to help reshape education in America by recruiting and training the next generation of great American teachers.

Teaching is a rewarding and challenging profession where you can make a lasting impact. Teachers have a positive influence on students, schools, and communities, now and into the future. Schools across the nation are in need of a diverse set of talented teachers, especially in our big cities and rural areas, and especially in the areas of Math, Science, Technology, Special Education, and English Language Learning.

That’s why the department launched the TEACH campaign — a bold new initiative to inspire and empower the most talented and dedicated Americans to become teachers. We know that next to parental support, there is nothing more important to a child’s education than the quality of his or her teachers.

Many of you are already thinking about becoming teachers. The TEACH campaign provides tools at your fingertips to navigate the academic and professional requirements that will credential you to succeed as a teacher in one of our schools. TEACH.gov features an online path to teaching and over 4,000 listed, open teaching positions.

In addition to information on job postingsteacher prep, and financial aid, prospective candidates can watch testimonials from current teachers. Each one was looking for a professionally challenging and financially rewarding career that would allow them to bring their passions, their lives, to work every day.  Go to TEACH.gov and listen to their stories.

We’re also setting up TEACH Town Hall events around the country to encourage discussions in communities and at colleges for those who are preparing to step into the workforce. Help us spread the word about teaching careers. If you know someone who is considering becoming a teacher, send them to TEACH.gov so they can learn about the resources available for their state and district. Also be sure to let them know that we have an application called Raise Your Hand on Facebook that allows prospective teachers to join a community of teachers across the country and ask about teaching as a career.

Together, we can change the face of American education. We can recruit the next generation of great American teachers.

Arne Duncan is Secretary of Education

5 Comments

  1. The best teachers will not be selected by any process that relies so heavily on tests, either for students or teachers.

    While standardized testing may be extremely harmful to students, most people seem to ignore the damage that standardized testing does to teachers, teacher applicants and others who have specialized skills but little interest placating educational testing companies.

    The current process screens out excellent teachers in favor of those who can game the testing system. It’s all about making money for the testing companies and little else.

  2. While I’m sure this is a wonderful resource, currently the best and brightest new teachers are the last in, first out nearly nationwide as education cuts (delayed in part by ARRA last year) are now deeply impacting schools 2012 budgets. In many states, including Arizona, EduJobs had no impact since it will be dollar for dollar supplanted from state payments to schools. I’m not sure I would advise my very bright teenage children to pursue a career with few new opportunities, a system where their performance matters less than their years in the building, low pay,and high stakes due to the perception that good teachers alone can change the lives of children.

    It’s easy to say that the teacher is the most important factor in effective education and some research supports this premise, however a deeper look at that data shows that the environment has the most impact.

  3. It would me nice of teachers would ask for resources that work instead of whining. I have been waiting since computers, vcrs and the internet became affordable for the education community to seriously look at these resources.
    I have used computers since 1970 and have owned them since 1980 and am still waiting!!!
    I find what I see on the internet to be embarrassing. Let us focus on improving what backup students have available while we wait for each community decides how to proceed. Will teachers recognize that even BOOKS are valuable?

  4. In your stump speech please include how the state tests are prepared for the white middle-class students. I am a white female and have worked in state testing for students for the past 10 years and have noticed that the language is not multicultural friendly. This is sad considering that the NCLB law limits the teachers resources to only teach to the test so that all students have a somewhat level playing field, although it falls extremely short from level. Teachers hands are tied so tight that it is hard to make time for the teachable moments in life without taking away from precious time spent from teaching for a test every three months. Accountability is great if there is a fair and reasonable means of doing this. Tying a teachers hands to teach is not the right way though. Thanx…

  5. Could I suggest that you have a new stump speech prepared that does a better job of explaining that you understand now that if we are going to hold teachers accountable, if we are going to ask them to use solid data in making decisions about how they teach and how their teaching is or isn’t being effective. Then the Department of Education has to also use solid data to drive our decisions about what we support. Using student test data to make decisions about teachers is not supported by data, so we will look for what does. The data shows that teacher quality is only a small part (about 10%) of what makes a difference in student achievement, so we will go after poverty, healthcare, engaging parents and providing quality professional development for teachers just as fervently if not more so. We have learned from countries like Finland that giving teachers most of the control over how their schools operate, including the pedagogical decisions, the ability to change what doesn’t work and emphasize what does and then holding them accountable for how well their students do makes sense and has worked.

    In addition, testing is only a small part of what works in many countries, the time wasted on constant testing to “prove” effectiveness has been found to be counterproductive. So yes, there will be assessments, but only high quality assessments that first help teachers make decisions about their instruction. We have found that we are over-emphasizing testing to the detriment of our children’s’ education.

    I will go on by request…

Comments are closed.