Cover: The dilemma of teacher policy

The dilemma of teacher policy

Published 1989

by Lorraine M. McDonnell

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This report examines the relationship between norms of democratic control and professionalism in the design and implementation of education policy, using recent teacher policies in five states (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, and Pennsylvania) as illustrative cases. It then attempts to identify ways that the two interests might be better accommodated in the future. One finding from the analysis of recent teacher policies is particularly clear: state agencies, local districts, schools, and individual teachers currently lack the tools to ensure professional-level entry standards, to evaluate practicing teachers fairly and validly, or to reorganize teachers' responsibilities in more meaningful ways. If professionalism is to be strengthened without sacrificing democratic-control norms, states will have to fund a variety of capacity-building instruments that have been largely ignored. These include better measures of teacher performance and greater attention to professional development.

This report is part of the RAND joint report education series. The joint report was a product of RAND from 1988 to 1993 that included documents published jointly with other organizations, which transmitted major research findings and final research.

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