Monday, May 12, 2008

Education Leadership Forum Focuses on the Future of Teaching in Georgia

Preparing all students to participate in a knowledge-based economy is a demanding challenge. As pressure is continually placed on teachers to meet this challenge alone, the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF) convened at Georgia Public Broadcasting on Friday, May 9 for an education leadership forum, “The Future of Teaching in Georgia,” to discuss how transforming teaching can meet the learning needs of 21st century students.

This forum, sponsored by MetLife Foundation, is the first in a series of conversations that NCTAF is holding across the country to call attention to the fact that quality teaching should not be looked at as an individual accomplishment. Instead, there is a need to bring the spirit and power of teamwork to schools – teamwork that builds the capacity to improve performance, increase teaching effectiveness, and close achievement gaps.

“No teacher should be expected to do this job alone,” said NCTAF President Tom Carroll. “Quality teaching results from the collective effort of teachers who join forces to improve performance beyond what any of them can accomplish on their own.”

At the forum, two panels addressed existing challenges and highlighted initiatives and strategies that offer better support for new teachers.
And a range of topics were covered, including pathways to teaching, mentoring and induction, coaches and instructional leaders, collaborative teaching and learning, higher education/K-12 partnerships, strong principal leadership, math and science instruction, closing achievement gaps, teacher compensation, teacher preparation and certification, and workforce pipeline issues.

Donna Lowry, Education Reporter, WXIA-TV 11Alive (NBC Affiliate), moderated both panels. Panelists included: Wheda Acolatse, Teacher, Alonzo F. Herndon Elementary School; Andrew Broy, Assoc. Superintendent, GA Department of Education; Ann Cramer, Director North America, IBM Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs; Beverly Hall, Superintendent, Atlanta Public Schools; Carolyn Hall, Principal, Kimberly Elementary School; Bill Haskin, Teacher, Hahira Middle School; Patricia Paterson, Executive Director for the P-16 Office of the University System of Georgia; Jennifer Rippner Buck, Executive Director, The Governor's Office of Student Achievement; and Steve Smith, Superintendent, Lowndes County Schools.

For more information about NCTAF, please visit