If you live in the Denver area, please mark your calendars for April 12. My Education Policy Center friends are hosting a brown bag lunch event with a special guest speaker. Dr. Marcus Winters, a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs assistant professor and Manhattan Institute senior fellow, will be sharing the findings and recommendations from his new book Teachers Matter: Rethinking How Public Schools Identify, Reward, and Retain Great Educators:
The question is, how do we sort out the good teachers from the bad? Winters shows the shortcomings of the current system, which relies on credentials and longevity, and spells out a series of reforms based on results achieved in the classroom. For the first time, standardized test results offer an objective, reliable measure of student proficiency that can be tied to an individual teacher. Sure to be controversial, Winters’s plan will be of interest to the education community, policy makers, and parents concerned about the future of education in America.
I’m so glad that Dr. Winters lives in Colorado and can drive up to visit the Independence Institute. The invitation to the event reminds us that the issue is one of profound and timely relevance in our own state:
In the past couple years, Colorado has made waves by moving forward with major educator effectiveness reforms. What does the body of research have to say about the process Colorado has undertaken? Are there additional reforms Colorado should look at embracing? What are the best policies and incentives we can pursue to ensure students all have the effective instruction they need?
Remember SB 191 and the state’s work on educator effectiveness? If that weren’t enough, there’s an article in this week’s Denver Post reveals concerns about the complex challenges of implementing a new evaluation system during the pilot testing period. How serious are the concerns? And what are the causes? What can or should be done to address them? You can’t get much more timely than that.
Anyway, I hope to see some of you at the Independence Institute’s new Freedom Embassy in Denver on Thursday, April 12. Doors open at 11:30 AM. The presentation starts at noon, allowing time for some Q & A before wrapping up at 1:00 PM. Let my Education Policy Center friends know if you can come by sending an email to RSVP -at- i2i.org or by signing up on the Facebook Event page.
And if you get hungry like I’m sure to do, don’t forget to bring your “brown bag” lunch. A PBJ with the crusts cut off, some Goldfish crackers, and an apple juice box for me. Whatever you’re having, we can have a good presentation and conversation about teacher policy reforms and what they mean for Colorado.