PRESS RELEASE: UEA president joins educators on national panel to study teaching profession


Diverse panel of accomplished teachers will explore issue of teacher effectiveness

UEA president and former second-grade teacher Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh is one of 21 educators nationwide selected to participate on an independent commission to study the teaching profession and make recommendations on maximizing teacher and teaching effectiveness.

The National Education Association (NEA) announced that the national Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching (CETT) will draw on the wisdom and experience of accomplished teachers—supported by researchers, policymakers and academicians—who will examine the policies and practices governing the teaching profession and craft a new teacher-centered vision of teaching and the teaching profession. NEA President Dennis Van Roekel first announced plans for the Commission during his keynote address at the NEA's 2010 Representative Assembly in New Orleans.

“There is a fundamental need to shake up the nation’s collective thinking on quality teaching,” said Van Roekel, “and we believe the best way to do that is to get the perspective of professional educators who are recognized for their innovation and accomplishments in the classroom. Our hope is that this Commission will not only focus on the professional practices that make a difference in student learning but also address the critical issues facing the future of the profession. NEA is dedicating significant resources and staff to support the Commission’s work because we recognize the significance of this task.”

Chaired by Madaline “Maddie” Fennel, 2007 Nebraska Teacher of the Year and fourth-grade teacher from Omaha, Neb., the Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching is charged with accomplishing work in four areas:

  • Analyzing existing standards, definitions, policies and practices related to teacher effectiveness and effective teaching and developing a teachers’ definition of an effective teacher and effective teaching.
  • Crafting a new vision of a teaching profession that is led by teachers and ensures teacher and teaching effectiveness.
  • Developing a comprehensive set of recommendations for the National Education Association about the union’s role in advancing and promoting teacher effectiveness and the teaching profession.
  • Developing a comprehensive set of recommendations for education leaders and policymakers about the future of the teaching profession and the role of teachers in governing it.

The Commission will meet four to six times over the next year and conduct public hearings to gather input on topics of interest to the panel. Individual members of the Commission will work on various committees and activities in order to accomplish the goal of delivering preliminary recommendations to the 2011 NEA Representative Assembly in Chicago. Commission members will solicit feedback from NEA members and deliver a final report to the public in the fall of 2011. NEA will use the recommendations to examine the Association’s policies and long-term vision for teaching.

“The current policies and processes that govern our profession do little to support teachers or students today,” said Van Roekel. “Those with little understanding about student learning or the teaching profession have been allowed to establish programs, set standards and shape policies that impact teaching and learning. Absent a new approach to teacher policy, it is unrealistic to expect schools and teachers to prepare all students with the skills and knowledge necessary for the 21st century and beyond.  Supporting the work of the Commission is one of many steps the NEA is taking to help transform the profession and give teachers greater authority over their profession, the quality of teaching and quality of public schools.”

The 21 members of the Commission on Effective Teachers and Teaching are

  • Ronarae Adams, a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) program director at National University, from San Diego, Calif.
  • Adele Bravo, an elementary school teacher from Boulder, Colo.
  • James Brooks, a high school language and media arts teacher from Millers Creek, N.C.
  • Andy Coons, a middle school math teacher from Tacoma, Wash.
  • Madaline Fennel, a fourth-grade elementary school teacher from Omaha, Neb. (chair)
  • Sharon Gallagher-Fishbaugh, president of the Utah Education Association and second-grade teacher from Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Michael Geisen, a middle school science teacher from Prineville, Ore.
  • Robert Goodman, a math and science teacher from Trenton, N.J.
  • Mary Hatwood-Futrell, a professor of education from Washington, D.C.
  • Malinda Ice, a physical education teacher from St. Louis, Mo.
  • Anne Keith, a middle school math and communication arts teacher from Bozeman, Mont.
  • Renee Moore, an English instructor at Mississippi Delta Community College from Moorhead, Miss.
  • Shelly Moore, a high school English and drama teacher from Ellsworth, Wisc.
  • Lori Nazareno, a science teacher from Denver, Colo.
  • Haydee Rodriguez, a high school language, literature and history teacher from El Centro, Calif.
  • Kathleen Skinner, director of the Center of Education Policy and Practice from Boston, Mass.
  • Peggy Stewart, a high school social studies teacher from Vernon, N.J.
  • Mary K. Tedrow, a high school English teacher from Winchester, Va.
  • William Thomas, a high school government teacher from Upper Marlboro, Md.
  • Andy Tompkins, president and CEO for the Kansas Board of Regents from Topeka, Kan.
  • Kathleen Wiebke, executive director of Arizona K12 from Phoenix, Ariz.

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