National Teachers Standards

By Peter McWalters and Circe Stumbo

School districts and school boards traditionally have had the authority to evaluate their teachers and principals, but new programs coming out of the U.S. Department of Education, including Race to the Top and proposals for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, call for states to play a stronger role in evaluation as a way to push for improvements in education.

This development is a double-edged sword: It could strengthen the ability of local leaders to transform education, but it also has the potential to override local authority.

The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has crafted a set of standards for teacher practice that could help school leaders deal with the increased federal and state demands while still maintaining local control.

The council’s Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC), made up of representatives of the teaching profession, including practicing teachers, teacher educators, and state education agency staff, spent the past 18 months updating the standards, which were first drafted in 1992 and adopted by at least 38 states. The updated standards focus on how teachers can help students achieve to standards, including the Common Core State Standards released this year.

The consortium is seeking extensive input for the revised standards, including from school board members and administrators. Please consider providing your opinions and perspectives before the public comment deadline of Oct. 15. The consortium will revise the model core teaching standards based on comments received, then will help states adopt or adapt them to transform teaching and learning across the country.

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