Last week, I had the opportunity to be included as the token teacher on a panal that included many of the more important figures in NYC education. The full list is here.
With lots to do, I don’t have much time to write a full reaction. I will say though, that of the four such panels I’ve been on, I thought this one was by far the best moderated. I appreciated that the moderators went out of their way to ensure that I, as the only full time teacher on the panel, had ample opportunity to engage with and respond to what the more well known panelists had to say. I thought the panel covered a nice range of topics, and did a good job of highlighting some of the major policy issues facing NYC in the coming school year.
For those who don’t feel the need to watch the full 100 minutes, Jose Vilson wrote a great writeup. I especially appreciated his kind words:
Overall, I also must give props to the guy who invited me, Stephen Lazar. Not only did he prove that teacher voice mattered, he probably got some of the biggest reactions from the audience and the panel, an otherwise respectful and still set of individuals. When asked about retaining the best and brightest teachers, Stephen Lazar said that he would never say he doesn’t want more money, but the best way to reward the best and brightest teachers is by giving them autonomy and respect. If he can prove, for instance, that he can get students to go well on the social studies Regents exam for five consecutive years, then they should release him from the chains of those Regents so he can actually get his students to think. Some on the panel crossed their legs harder, a couple winced, and Bill Thompson’s eyes jumped out of his head with excitement.