are working to help administrators become more involved in systemic improvements in schools.

Teachers 21 features ongoing seminars and courses that train beginning teachers to network, build partnerships with parents, engage in positive classroom management, link curriculum and assessment to curriculum frameworks, and explore ranges of pedagogical approaches to teaching science and mathematics. This organization also works to establish support groups for beginning teachers that focus on professional growth. These support groups meet on a regular basis throughout the year and help novice teachers reflect on their teaching and on their students’ learning.

Another key component to the success of the approach by Teachers 21 is the training of mentors. The third element is including principals and other administrators in all phases of the programs. In addition, Teachers 21 commits to building school culture that engage school administrators, new and veteran teachers, and others in the community in improving schools.

Teachers 21 maintains that the districts it considers progressive are those that care about both the professional growth of their teachers and the quality of their teaching. According to Teachers 21, the success of beginning teachers depends on the support of everyone in a school. Structures, time, space, and the availability of collegial practice that support observations, joint lesson planning, and curriculum development are important components to the success of new teachers. The organization further contends that such plans must be embraced and publicized by districts in order to ensure that mentoring programs are seen as vital to the community.

BOSTON PLAN FOR EXCELLENCE IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS3

On a district level, the City of Boston has developed a five- year, $5-million program called The Boston Plan for Excellence in the Public Schools. Now in its third year, this program combines and integrates improved professional preparation of its teachers with programs to raise academic achievement of its students. Twenty-five schools are currently involved. Key components of this program include:

  • Provision of an on-site coach for teacher professional development

  • One day per week in each school for these programs

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Additional information about this program is available at <http://www.bpe.org/>.



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