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December 2010 Vol. 18 No. 3 Focus on Teachers and Reform

Teachers under the microscope

Photo: Harvey Finkle

Many teachers say they seek a strong culture of collaboration in schools. At El Centro de Estudiantes in Norris Square, teaching is a collaborative effort. Student Ricky Rosario (left) and his mother Maria Nazario meet with Ricky’s advisor/teacher Khara Schonfeld and with Gabe Guindon, director of post-secondary support.

By by Dale Mezzacappa

Are teacher unions a "menace," as alleged in the documentary "Waiting for 'Superman?'" Are they primarily concerned with protecting bad teachers? Or, as some would argue, are unions an important ally in campaigns for school improvement?

Much current dialogue about school reform is about teachers. Debates are often polarized and entangled with other hot policy disputes around issues like charter schools. Many feel the current climate is anti-teacher.

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Teaching at Mastery

By by Benjamin Herold

Just a few months ago, Kallie Turner was limping to the end of her first year as a classroom teacher. Exhausted, she feared that she had failed her students.

"I didn't get them where they needed to be," Turner says of the children at the Louisville public school where she taught last year. "The hardest thing was knowing that I didn't have an answer – and that no one was helping me find that answer."

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