The 2014 Seminar on Teaching Agenda

All events were hosted by Michigan State University at the Detroit Center

Monday, October 20

Noon: Welcome and Lunch

  • Caroline Hendrie, Education Writers Association
  • Dean Donald A. Heller, Michigan State University College of Education

1 — 2:15 p.m. Teacher Induction and Mentoring

For new teachers, the first few years on the job can present a steep learning curve. And the students who need the most experienced teachers often don’t get them. How are schools, districts and states ramping up the support provided to new teachers? What are the hallmarks of a high-quality induction program? And what does the research show on the effects of coaching and mentoring?

  • Corey Drake, Michigan State University College of Education
  • Magdalene Lampert, Boston Residency Project
  • Liam Goldrick, New Teacher Center, (in place of Ellen Moir, New Teacher Center)
  • Elizabeth Green, Chalkbeat (moderator)

2:15 p.m. Break

2:30 — 3:15 p.m. “The Teacher Wars”

The author of the recently released New York Times bestseller traces the complex history of the politics and policies that have shaped the nation’s largest profession.

  • Dana Goldstein, Journalist and Author
  • Greg Toppo, USA Today (moderator)

​Listen to the Interview

3:15 — 4 p.m. Teaching Across Cultural Differences: Equity in Instruction and Classrooms

How are cultural and racial biases influencing classroom instruction and student learning? What does this mean for teachers and students, particularly in high-minority, urban school settings? What should education reporters know about cultural bias as it relates to their reporting on students, teachers, and schools?

  • Associate Professor Dorinda Carter Andrews, Michigan State University
  • Alejandra Matos, Star Tribune (moderator)

4 p.m. Break

4:15 — 5:15 p.m. Performance and Perceptions: Taking the Pulse of the Profession

Teacher effectiveness is a front-burner issue in districts nationwide. How are districts, state departments of education, and policymakers responding to the push to improve teacher performance and student outcomes? What does the latest research show on what’s working in public schools?

What does the new “Primary Sources” survey tell us about teachers’ perceptions of the Common Core State Standards? And what are teachers doing to reshape their classroom instruction in response to the new expectations for grade-level learning?

  • Andy Baxter, Southern Regional Education Board
  • Kyle Good, Scholastic Inc.
  • Diane Rado, Chicago Tribune (moderator)

5:15 — 6 p.m. Cultivating Teacher Leaders: From Career Ladders to Common Core

Teachers are seizing opportunities for more autonomy and authority in their classrooms and schools. A new paper from The Aspen Institute and Leading Educators asks: How is this influencing instruction, student learning, and the administrative chain of command? What are the hallmarks of successful teacher leadership initiatives, and what can be learned from the missteps?

  • Jonas Chartock and Chong-Hao Fu, Leading Educators
  • Scott Elliott, Chalkbeat Indiana (moderator)

Tuesday, October 21

8:00 — 8:30 a.m. Breakfast

8:30 — 9:15 a.m. Eyes on Detroit

  • Stephen Henderson, Columnist, Detroit Free Press

9:15 — 10:30 a.m. Teacher College Accountability: Changes on Horizon

With an eye to toughening admission standards and curricula, a massive overhaul of the credentialing standards for the nation’s teacher preparation programs is underway. But given that participation is voluntary, are ongoing changes enough? What more needs to be done to improve such programs? And how should policymakers, taxpayers and potential students judge the quality of teacher preparation programs?

  • Jim Cibulka, Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • Segun Eubanks, National Education Association
  • Kate Walsh, National Council on Teacher Quality
  • Stephen Sawchuk, Education Week (moderator)

10:30 a.m.: Break

10:45 — 11:45 a.m. Story Lab Reporting on Teacher Compensation

What stories are hidden in your district’s negotiated agreement with the local teachers’ union? This session will be a hands-on workshop on how to use readily available documents like teacher salary schedules to develop nuanced stories on teacher pay.

  • Stephen Sawchuk, Education Week
  • Emily Richmond, Education Writers Association

11:45 — 12:45 p.m. Lunch

12:45 — 1:30 p.m. “Building A Better Teacher”

What makes a teacher great? If teaching is a craft that can be taught, why haven’t more schools of education cracked the code? What do we know about the complexity and difficulty of truly effective teaching? Where are the biggest teacher success stories unfolding in the nation’s schools and classrooms?

  • Elizabeth Green, Chalkbeat

1:30 — 2:15 p.m. “How I Did the Story:” Using Teacher Data in Education Reporting

What are some innovative approaches to obtaining and analyzing teacher-related data from your school district? The MinnPost’s analysis of teacher salaries has been hailed as a myth buster. How did the story develop? And what steps did the reporting team take to ensure external validation of their number crunching?

  • Beth Hawkins and Tom Nehil, MinnPost

2:15 p.m. Break

2:30 — 3:30 p.m. Rethinking Teacher Education

How can teacher colleges do a better job preparing their graduates for the realities of the classroom, particularly when it comes to math instruction? What can be learned from the TeachingWorks initiative, a curriculum and evaluation framework designed to follow teachers from initial training through their early years in the classroom?

  • Dean Deborah Loewenberg Ball, University of Michigan School of Education

3:30 — 4:30 p.m. Brainstorming: Teacher Story Ideas to Take Home

4:30 p.m. Adjourn