Giving Compass' Take:

• American Enterprise Institute (AEI) discusses the importance of teachers as "boots on the ground" in schools, keeping education systems in check.

• The impetus for this piece is the controversy of the Washington, D.C. public schools misrepresenting graduation rates. Could teachers have sounded the alarm? Should they be counted on as whistleblowers?

• With so much talk about school choice, charter schools, advancements in edtech and the like, listening to teachers is never a bad strategy. Now, let's make sure they're paid the money they deserve.

Teachers are the boots on the ground in schools, but too often their voice is ignored in the pursuit of top-down reforms. This is not a new issue. As my colleague Rick Hess puts it in The Cage-Busting Teacher, “Teachers feeling isolated, frustrated, undervalued, and under attack is nothing new. In fact, that’s kind of how our K–12 system was designed. … It was built by reformers trying to dictate teachers’ work and also by teacher advocates intent on adding new safety bars around teachers.”

When reforms seem to go right — like each successive record-high graduation rate — district officials, reformers and policymakers get to celebrate. But when teachers raise real implementation concerns — like unearned grade changes or students’ absences — they get labeled as grumpy or whiners. Some get sidelined, others fear retribution and many learn speaking up is just pointless. That is dangerous, because silent teachers keep districts from knowing when things start slipping sideways.

Read the source article at