Policy makers, union leaders and educators from around the world met in New York City last week for the first ever International Summit on the Teaching Profession. The goals of the summit were to elevate and strengthen the teaching profession by sharing ideas on training, recruitment, evaluation, compensation, retention and engagement of teachers in education reform.
The phrase “education reform” has become loaded, many people stating that that those who want to change education in this country are anti-teacher. This summit shows me that teachers, unions, government officials, anyone who cares about positive educational outcomes for children can be interested in education reform and that there will always be room for positive change.
We will never get to the point that our education system is so perfect it couldn’t use a little tweaking and I like seeing teachers, who are on the front lines every day, getting involved in helping determine what road we take to success.
I also love the idea of countries from around the world getting together to combine their collective experience and share ideas that can then be adapted and used to make the teaching profession stronger. We need strong teachers so we need strong support for teachers and this summit sounds like a great way to forward that effort.
“To achieve a high quality education system, education and union leaders must join together to debate the different roads and draw a consensus around how we achieve our shared goals,” said Education International General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen. “This summit provides us the opportunity to learn evidence-based strategies from one another to support teachers in ways that strengthen a nation’s entire education system.”
The Summit was co-hosted by several groups, including The US Department of Education, National Education Association (NEA), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Education International (EI), Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Asia Society and WNET to bring together people from all over the world who are part of excellent or rapidly improving school systems to share ideas and bring about change.