Taking it to the teachers

| June 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest teacher union in the US. It recently asked its members to answer one question: “If you could redesign… school structure… what would the school day, week and year look like?”

The research was part of the ‘Voices, Ideas, Vision, Action (VIVA): NEA Time in School Exchange’ project. Says Dennis van Roekel, NEA president, the study is “empowering” for teachers and its findings should be used to influence education policy in the US. The voices of the polled educators resulted in several ‘actionable ideas’ compiled by a NEA special committee. Respondents were most vocal about the need to add to federal and district policies the voices of communities and families to ensure their civil rights and equity for all students.

Survey respondents also cited a need to change the school calendar to shorten the long summer break. This would enable teachers to not only cover core curricula, but to do so in innovative ways. Many also called for a longer school day, which would include planned time for teacher collaboration and remedial assistance for students with special needs. NEA also found that teachers feel that class sizes must be capped at 25, and that they deserve to be recompensed for working longer hours.

A majority of teachers also called for children to be grouped according to ability and not age, and for the school day to start later to “meet the needs of students’ growth and biological development”. Activities making up the school day should be shifted around for the same purpose, said respondents, many of whom called for extramural activities to start, not end, the school day. Decisions about what to do when should be up to each school, teachers added.

Category: Winter 2014

About the Author ()

News posts added for Independent Education by Global Latitude DMA

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *