Conflict of Interest at the AFT? Surely Not
Question:How effectively supported do these teachers feel?
Oh, and McGraw-Hill has held a financial interest in Teachscape since 2001.
The Education Intelligence Agency made some interesting observations nearly years ago.
Education Intelligence Agency
January 7, 2002
The Interlocking Directorates of Professional Development. The National Education Association is negotiating a deal with Teachscape, a private firm that will provide web-based teacher professional development services. You can be forgiven if your first reaction to this news is "So what?" The deal seems even more logical when you discover that Teachscape already has the American Federation of Teachers as a partner.
Teachscape's professional development system includes: video-based case studies that illustrate and analyze exemplary teaching in real classrooms; examples of student work from featured classrooms; study groups that promote professional dialogue and mutual support; tools for self-reflection; and self-assessment opportunities. If this sounds remarkably similar to the requirements for achieving national certification, it shouldn't surprise you to learn that the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) is also a partner of Teachscape.
National certification has been one of the hallmarks of new unionism and the call for teacher professionalism. Indeed, many NEA and AFT officials sit on the NBPTS board. So it shouldn't surprise you to learn that David B. Sherman sits on Teachscape's board of directors. Sherman is vice president of the United Federation of Teachers (New York City) and also sits on the board of the Teachers Union Reform Network, the primary internal union organization in support of new unionism.
Well, it's only natural that these groups cooperate and interact in order to maintain teacher control of the profession and avert a corporate takeover of the essence of public education. They are joined in this mission by Michael Finnerty, president and chief operating officer of Teachscape. What did Finnerty do before Teachscape? He, according to his bio, "served as an officer of Edison Schools Inc. from its inception in 1992. He participated in every aspect of the development of the company, from the conceptual design of product and business plan development to current operations in 21 states, which generate more than $350 million in annual revenue."
The ideological divide between unions and corporations over public education is real, but the pursuit of profit never seems quite so bad when you get your own cut. Teachers should ponder this while they instruct students out of textbooks from McGraw-Hill, which, by the way, is another partner of Teachscape and "has made an equity investment" in it. (emphasis added)
What is Teachscape?
From the website: Teachscape is a technology-enabled professional development services company that provides research-based, data-driven, integrated professional learning for educators. We collaborate with districts to achieve one compelling goal--to raise student achievement through the delivery of rigorous, differentiated instruction in every classroom in every school.
Clients and Partners
Teachscape provides research-based, data-driven, integrated professional development services to thousands of educators across the country through engagements with:
Mathematics Service Offerings
Instructional Leadership Service Offerings
New Teacher Induction Service Offerings
English Language Learning Initiatives
Early Childhood Initiatives
In addition to having partnerships with schools and districts across the country, whose collaborations continually inform the company's content offerings and service model, Teachscape works with some of the most respected educational organizations and institutions in the nation. These collaborations produce world-class programs and services for clients.
Teachscape partners include:
More than 100 school sites across the nation are participating in the Teachscape Algebra/Geometry Consortium. The Consortium provides math educators with the opportunity to better serve students through an instructional management system, resources, and high-impact strategies acquired through this professional assessment system and professional development initiative. This system consistently produces measurable results in schools regardless of size or bell schedule.
American Educational Studies Association (AESA)
Teachscape is a recognized and respected business member and an active promoter of AESA and service agencies nationwide.
American Federation of Teachers (AFT), AFL-CIO
Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS)
Cardinal Stritch University
Cardinal Stritch University partners with Teachscape to provide three semester hours of graduate credit for online courses taken by teachers in Wisconsin, California, and Arizona. Stritch is accredited by NCATE, the Higher Learning Commission, and is a member of NCA. Stritch is also accredited by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
Center for Improving the Readiness of Children for Learning and Education (CIRCLE)
The Concord Consortium
Teachscape is producing its first set of elementary mathematics courses for the professional development of teachers in partnership with The Concord Consortium as part of the Seeing Math Telecommunications Project (funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Research and Improvement). The project includes the dissemination, research, and evaluation of these courses.
The Concord Consortium is a nonprofit educational research and development group that assists schools internationally to realize the educational promise of technology. The Concord Consortium has become a leader in the development and delivery of online courses, as well as the development of curriculum and new approaches to science and mathematics instruction.
Houston Independent School District (HISD) Paraprofessional Training
The Paraprofessional Series provides required training by offering seven courses that prepare paraprofessionals for their classroom role. Currently, 1,100 HISD paraprofessionals are enrolled in this model, which meets a rigorous standard of quality and includes appropriate assessment of course objectives and learning outcomes. Courses are accessed through the Internet or via video and are aligned to exams developed by ETS (Educational Testing Service) or individual states. HISD was the first recipient of the Broad Prize for Urban Education, a new national education award that rewards students and their school districts for dramatic improvement in student academic performance.
KUCRL (The University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning)
In the mid-1970s, passage of a federal education law required that special education services be delivered to all students who needed them from kindergarten through high school. That law changed the education landscape and planted the seed for what is now the Center for Research on Learning at the University of Kansas. Today, with the passage of No Child Left Behind, the work of the center's Strategic Intervention Model in Adolescent and Content Literacy becomes even more important. To scale the work, and provide another level of fidelity and consistency, KUCRL turned to a development and training partnership with Teachscape.
Marygrove College partners with Teachscape to provide three semester hours of graduate credit for online courses taken by teachers in Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Washington. Marygrove is fully accredited by NCATE and NCA, and is approved by the Michigan State Department of Education.
McREL (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning)
Based in Denver, Colorado, McREL was incorporated in 1966 as Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory, a nonprofit organization created to help educators in the nation's heartland bridge the gap between research and practice. Now known as Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning, McREL's research and development work provides teachers and administrators with valuable information about proven, effective approaches to the challenges in education today. By building on research to solve specific problems, McREL develops widely acclaimed pre-K-16 educational products that are used in classrooms nationally and internationally to help educators maximize student learning. McREL has worked with Teachscape on the creation of the online video-based Classroom Instruction That Works series; partnered with Teachscape on the Success in Sight 2006: Learning, Leading, and the Future conference; and is looking to expand its overall development relationship with Teachscape.
National Education Association (NEA)
Teachscape is working in partnership with the National Education Association to develop high-quality professional development that effectively supports teachers working in NEA school districts.
Teachscape is partnering with Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy as part of the Illinois Professional Learners' Partnership (IPLP) grant. IPLP is funded by the U.S. Department of Education Teacher Quality Enhancement program to engage Illinois State University, the University of Illinois, Roosevelt University, Northeastern Illinois University, and Loyola University in reorganizing their teacher development programs. As part of this grant, Northwestern University has been working with faculty at IPLP institutions to integrate the use of Teachscape online video-based case studies of exemplary teaching into their pre-service teacher education courses.
SRA/McGraw-Hill, a division of McGraw-Hill Education, has partnered with Teachscape to provide a new online teacher training program tailored for SRA (Science Research Associates) products. The user-friendly training program will provide another level of support to educators who teach reading using SRA's Open Court Reading program at the elementary school level. The new Internet-based program will allow teachers to receive continuous training and support for McGraw-Hill programs, at home and at school.
The SRA/McGraw-Hill/Teachscape online product will enable teachers to:
As part of its ongoing commitment to develop new interactive educational products across all its businesses, including professional development, The McGraw-Hill Companies has made an equity investment in Teachscape.
Teachscape's innovative and highly interactive Web site was developed in partnership with SRI International (formerly known as the Stanford Research Institute), which has one of the world's most renowned centers for the design and implementation of learning technologies. Dr. Roy Pea, now Professor of Education and the Learning Sciences at Stanford University and Executive Director of Stanford University's new Stanford Institute for Learning Sciences and Technology, led the SRI team working with Teachscape. A member of the Teachscape Board of Directors, Dr. Pea continues to serve as Chief Scientist at SRI International's Center for Technology in Learning.
Stanford University has partnered with Teachscape to deliver Web-based professional development for teachers who work with English language learners (ELLs). Teachscape is currently producing courses that offer specific strategies to support ELLs. These courses are authored by Dr. Kenji Hakuta, Vida Jacks Professor of Education at Stanford University.
Dr. Hakuta teaches courses on language development, bilingual education, and research methods. His research is in the areas of psycholinguistics, bilingualism, language shift, and the acquisition of English in immigrant students. He chaired the National Academy of Sciences committee on developing a research agenda on the education of limited-English-proficient and bilingual students. Dr. Hakuta is the author and editor of several books, including Mirror of Language: The Debate on Bilingualism (1986) and In Other Words: The Science and Psychology of Second Language Acquisition (1994). He recently chaired a committee of the National Research Council, which issued the report Improving Schooling for Language-Minority Children: A Research Agenda, published by the National Academy Press. In 1979, Dr. Hakuta received his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Harvard University.
State of Arkansas
Teachscape has collaborated with the Arkansas Department of Education to build a statewide initiative focused on student achievement and assessment, as well as a comprehensive accountability system. Included in the program are customized conferences, performance assessments aligned with the Arkansas Curriculum Frameworks, a capacity-building training model, a targeted video series, and live satellite meetings.
University of Southern Colorado, Pueblo
Teachscape Board of Directors
Mark Atkinson,Chief Executive Officer
Michael Finnerty, Director
Michael Finnerty served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Teachscape from December 2000 through September 2004. Prior to joining Teachscape, Mr. Finnerty served as an Officer of Edison Schools Inc. from its inception in 1992, participating in every aspect of the development of the company, from conceptual product design and business plan development to current operations in 21 states generating more than $350 million in annual revenue. Mr. Finnerty brings to Teachscape a strong background in finance and operations management. As Edison's Chief Financial Officer, he oversaw all capital finance, accounting, payroll, banking, and risk management. At Edison, he moved into the role of Executive Vice President for School Operations, where he managed the role-out of Edison programs to client school districts and Charter School Boards, to create and operate Edison Schools. Prior to his career with Edison, Mr. Finnerty served as Chief Financial and Administrative Officer at Yale University. Before that, he served as Budget Director for New York's Governor Cuomo and Chief of Staff for New York's Governor Hugh Carey. A graduate of Manhattan College, Mr. Finnerty holds a master's in Public Administration from New York University.
Robert Finzi, Co-Managing Partner, Sprout Group
Janet Hickey, Co-Managing Partner, Sprout Group
Andrew Kaplan, General Partner, Quad Partners
Roy Pea, Director, Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning at Stanford University
Roy Pea, who co-founded Teachscape in 1999, is a Stanford University Professor of Education and the Learning Sciences and Director of the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning (http://scil.stanford.edu).
James Regan, General Partner, Harbourton Enterprises
Office of the President, American Federation of Teachers
David Sherman currently serves as a consultant in the Office of the President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in Washington, DC, where he is coordinating the AFT's work in preparation for the reauthorization of NCLB (No Child Left Behind). Mr. Sherman has been a public school teacher in Spanish Harlem, Brownsville, and Fort Greene (Brooklyn), communities in and around New York City. For several years at Public School 307 in Brooklyn, he served as a Title I reading teacher. He also served as a teacher on special assignment at the central headquarters of the New York City Board of Education, where he became the Director of the Office of State and Federal Programs. In 1980, Mr. Sherman was hired by Albert Shanker to develop an "educational arm" for the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) in New York City, for whom he launched the UFT Teacher Center, the Dial-A-Teacher and parent outreach program, the Peer Intervention Program, and others. He was the union's liaison to the school system and over the years collaborated very closely with district and community organizations in launching the Chancellor's District (an early national model for turning around low-performing schools) and the New Vision schools (the nation's first small schools initiative), among others. Mr. Sherman became the UFT Vice President in 1991 and remained in that position through 2004. He also served as a member and co-chair of the New York State Title I Committee of Practitioners, and was appointed to the U.S. Department of Education's Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on Title I and NCLB during both the Clinton and Bush administrations.
Marshall S. Smith, Program Director, Education, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Marshall (Mike) S. Smith has been Program Director for Education at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park, California, since 2001. Prior to that, he was Acting Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary for Education in the Clinton Administration. During the Carter Administration, Mr. Smith was Chief of Staff to the Secretary for Education and Assistant Commissioner for Policy Studies in the Office of Education. While not in government, he was at different times an Assistant Professor at Harvard, and a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Stanford University, where he was also Dean of the School of Education. A member of the National Academy of Education, Mr. Smith has authored numerous publications on topics ranging from computer content analysis to early childhood education to effective schools and standards-based reform.
Jane Swift, Partner, Arcadia Partners
Jane Swift joined Arcadia Partners in May 2003. In addition to her work at Arcadia, Ms. Swift speaks professionally on women's leadership, education improvement, and work-family integration, and she recently completed a fellowship at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Ms. Swift, who is currently a Director at Teachscape and the Brigham and Women's Hospital, served as the Governor of Massachusetts from April 2001 until January 2003. She was the first woman to do so and the first governor to give birth while in office. As the Chief Executive of the nation's 13th largest state, she was responsible for overseeing a $23 billion annual operating budget, and for setting strategic direction for 13 cabinet agencies and divisions. Ms. Swift focused on improving the state's education system and directed a review of early education programs and services, and also spearheaded improvements to the state's adult education and training programs. She successfully implemented many critical but controversial components of the Massachusetts Education Reform Act, which, as a state senator, she helped write in 1993. Combining statewide curriculum frameworks with rigorous standards and a superior assessment system, the Massachusetts law has been recognized as one of the most successful reform acts in the country. Ms. Swift received a B.A. in American Studies from Trinity College and has received six honorary doctorates, as well as numerous awards.
Joanne Weiss, Partner & COO, NewSchools Venture Fund
Joanne Weiss is Partner and Chief Operating Officer at NewSchools Venture Fund, where she focuses on investments and management assistance to portfolio ventures in the Performance Accelerator Fund and oversees the organization's operations. . . .
Lots of interesting appointees listed in this memo, including the very busy fellow, David Sherman.
Education Department Names Negotiators for Title I Rules Development
February 27, 2002 Contact: News Media Contact: Melinda Malico
Program Office Contact: Susan Wilhem
U.S. Assistant Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education Susan B. Neuman today announced the 21 members of the negotiating committee that will help develop new rules related to standards and assessments under Title I (Part A) of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
Comprised of education practitioners including state and local education administrators, teachers, school board members and also parents, the committee will come to Washington, D.C. in mid-March to negotiate the substance of draft regulations.
Title I is designed to help disadvantaged children meet high academic standards. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, signed into law on January 8, 2002, amended the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 and provides support for federal education programs including Title I programs operated by school districts.
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) asked for advice and recommendations on Title I regulatory issues from state and local education administrators, parents, teachers and paraprofessionals, school board members and others, in a Jan. 18 Federal Register notice. The law requires that ED select participants from among those who submitted comments, a total of more than 100 individuals and organizations.
The law requires that ED use a negotiated rulemaking process to develop draft rules on standards and assessments, to commence after the comment period closed (Feb. 19) and before proposed regulations are issued for public comment in the Federal Register.
To assemble a diverse negotiating group representing a wide range of interests, all geographic regions, and the views of parents and students as well as educators and education officials, ED asked more than 70 organizations to submit nominations along with their comments on regulatory issues. ED also received nominations from individuals and organizations that participated in five focus groups held to solicit advice. A list of the negotiators and the interests they are to represent follows the press release.
The group will meet five times, on March 11-13 and March 19-20, 2002, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at a location in Washington, D.C., to be announced. The meetings are open to individuals who wish to observe the process. The negotiating committee will review and revise draft regulations already developed by the Department. The final proposed rules they prepare will be available for public comment when published in the Federal Register by May 1, 2002.
ED also considered but decided against including in the negotiations issues pertaining to adequate yearly progress (AYP). AYP and other Title I issues will be addressed through the regular rulemaking process, including input already received during focus groups and four planned regional meetings. ED will announce the dates and locations for the upcoming regional meetings. Neuman has stated that the department will use nonregulatory guidance to address most issues and will issue regulations only if necessary.
Department officials developed this process and scheduled negotiated rulemaking promptly, and officials hope to issue the regulations as quickly as possible. The Federal Register notice and the draft regulation can be viewed now at: www.ed.gov/nclb/rulemaking/. The Federal Register notice will also be available later this week at: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/index.html.
Negotiators for Negotiated Rulemaking Sessions NCLB, Standards and Assessments under Title I, Part A
State administrators and state boards of education:
Local administrators and local school boards:
Principals and teachers:
Representing students (including at-risk students, migrant students, limited English proficient students, students with disabilities, and private school students):
U.S. Department of Education:
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