Agenda: 2018 Seminar on the Teaching Profession

Chicago • October 18-19, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018
Unless otherwise noted, all Thursday events take place in Room 304 of The University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center.

Site Visit (optional): UChicago Charter School: Woodlawn Campus
9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
The University of Chicago’s teacher residency program is one of a growing number of alternative teacher preparation programs in the country. Participants will learn about this model, tour a participating school, talk with program and school staff, and hear from the National Center for Teacher Residencies.

NCTR and the Teacher Residency Model
Urban Teacher Program Information Session

Lunch and Welcome
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

  • Caroline Hendrie, Education Writers Association
  • Tanika Island Childress, The University of Chicago Urban Education Institute

A Political Turning Point for the Teaching Profession?
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
With a surge of teachers running for political office and rumblings of more teacher walkouts to come, is this a political turning point for the teaching profession? Will efforts to weaken unions succeed or give rise to a more grassroots form of activism?

  • Marisol Garcia, Arizona Education Association
  • Dale Russakoff, freelance
  • Jesse Sharkey, Chicago Teachers Union
  • Martin West, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Madeline Will, Education Week (moderator)

Trends in Teacher Evaluation
2:15 – 3:00 p.m.
In the past decade, many states toughened their teacher evaluation systems, with a special focus on tying ratings in part to student test scores. Now some states and districts appear to be backing away from this approach. To what extent is change afoot in teacher evaluation. What are the most reliable measures of teacher quality?

Seeking Solutions to the Teacher Diversity Challenge
3:15 – 4:15 p.m.
With the U.S. student population becoming increasingly diverse by race and ethnicity, efforts are  mounting to ensure more teachers of color are in public schools. Experts say the challenge is not simply about recruitment, but also retention. Teachers of color leave the profession at disproportionately high rates. The problem of lack of teacher diversity is widely acknowledged, but what are the solutions?

How to Make the Classroom Part of the Story
4:30 – 5:15 p.m.
Virtually every education reporter has visited a classroom to inform stories on teaching and learning. But it can be tough to understand what you observe and effectively use it to inform your coverage. Journalists share tips to make the most of school visits, including what to do if the classroom activity is, well, boring.

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Hilton Chicago | Grand Tradition Lobby

Friday, Oct. 19
Unless otherwise noted, all Friday events take place in Room 621 of The University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center.

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Rethinking Teacher Preparation
9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Amid concern that many teachers start their jobs ill-equipped to succeed, efforts are underway to redesign teacher prep. One approach on the rise, teacher residencies, involves a full year of classroom teaching alongside a skilled mentor, plus a curriculum more tightly connected to the demands of the school setting. Experts discuss this and other developments in teacher prep, and the extent to which traditional, university-based programs themselves are changing.

  • Kenith Britt, Klipsch Educators College at Marian University
  • Ryan Eisner, American Institutes for Research
  • Bill Kennedy, The University of Chicago Urban Teacher Education Program
  • Emily Hanford, APM Reports (moderator)

Going on The Record: Teachers as Sources
10:15 – 11:00 a.m.
A Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist shares insights from investigative coverage that relied on teachers and school staff as sources.

  • Barbara Laker, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News
  • Caroline Hendrie, EWA (moderator)

Teachers’ Unions in a Post-Janus Era
11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
What’s ahead for teachers’ unions following a high-stakes Supreme Court decision barring public-sector unions from collecting fees from nonmembers they represent? Recent research examined the national implications of moves by Michigan and Wisconsin to strip unions of the ability to assess such fees.

12:15 – 1:00 p.m.

Principals’ Role in Teacher Quality
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
As instructional leader, teacher evaluator, and culture-setter, the school principal has an outsized influence on teacher quality and retention. Drawing on recent research, panelists discuss strategies that successful principals employ to build a strong school culture and bring out the best in teachers and their students.

How I Did the (Teacher) Story
2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
Reporters share tips for covering teacher activism and mining public records to produce enterprising coverage.

  • Ricardo Cano, CALmatters
  • Andrea Eger, Tulsa World
  • Juan Perez, Jr., Chicago Tribune

Betrayed: A Chicago Tribune investigation

Betrayed Tip Sheet

Emily Richmond, EWA (moderator)

Diving into Teacher Data  
Session 1: 3:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Session 2: 4:05 – 4:35 p.m.
In concurrent breakout sessions, experts discuss key data reporters can mine to inform their coverage of the teaching profession. Reporters choose two sessions to attend.

  • Finding Stories in Teacher Pension Data – Room 621
    Chad Aldeman of Bellwether Education Partners demonstrates how to find state-level data on teacher pensions, salary growth rates, and education spending over time.
  • Teacher Salary Gaps – Room 304
    The teacher strikes and increasing teacher activism often center around pay. And for good reason. Data show that the gaps between teacher salaries and the wages of other college-educated professionals are increasing. Sylvia Allegretto of the University of California, Berkeley reviews the data.
  • Teacher Absenteeism – Room 306
    How often do teachers miss school? Data collected by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office Office for Civil Rights provides a glimpse into chronic teacher absenteeism. Alex Harwin of the Education Week Research Center walks through the OCR data.
  • Which Teachers Quit and When? – Room 308
    New research from Christopher Redding of the the University of Florida uncovers differences in which teachers leave at different times of the year. Redding walks reporters through the data.

Data Debrief and Wrap-Up
4:45 – 5:15 p.m.