Competency-Based Micro-Credentials for Educators: Powerful Lessons from Two Years in the Field

A new report from Teaching Matters details the promise of competency-based professional development, coupled with "micro-credentials," by examining three recent experiences with this growing way to meet school systems’ needs.

Preliminary findings show Teaching Matters micro-credentials and competency-based professional learning is valuable for both educators and systems.

Evidence of teacher competency is important for systems seeking to create career ladders and strategically staff schools. Increased pay or access to new roles is an attractive motivator for teachers to earn micro-credentials. This is an approach that is creating value for teachers and the systems they work in.

Points of Practice, a free multimedia magazine exploring today's pressing education issues.

In Teachers We Trust: Building and Recognizing Teacher Leaders

Issue Three
Teacher leadership has the potential to be a different type of school improvement strategy. Rather than top down change led by policy makers, teacher leadership is practitioner-led innovation. We simply can’t impose or execute reforms on or for teachers—they must be committed co-creators.

Teacher leaders must be part of a fundamental shift in how schools and networks of practitioners learn and improve. To create this change, states and districts must develop new roles for teachers. These roles must be skillfully woven into the structures of school leadership and organized as practitioner networks that extend beyond their classrooms and schools.

Class Divide: Poverty, Segregation, and Teacher Quality

Issue Two
Nationwide, teaching excellence is distributed extremely unevenly. Despite a long-standing mandate in the No Child Left Behind Act to equalize the quality of teaching all children receive, there are still huge discrepancies in the distribution of what the U.S. Department of Education terms effective teachers. This second issue of our multimedia online magazine features policy experts and those on the front lines – students and adults working in schools – who address what effective teaching is, and how to make sure students from all strata, in urban and suburban settings alike, have parity.

In this issue, we propose and elaborate upon five ways to help spread teacher excellence more fairly.

It’s About Time: What It Takes to Implement Common Core and Improve Learning

Issue One
The Common Core State Standards have elicited both enthusiastic praise and blistering criticism. What does it take to do Common Core right? For one thing, adequate time and support. In this issue of Points of Practice, we go straight to educators and experts for their experiences and analysis. We hear from Alan Lesgold, Dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education, who traces the history and aims of Common Core; we talk to Principal Brian Rosenbloom and Assistant Principal Robert Mitchell at Chelsea High School in Manhattan; we get reactions from Jennifer Mandel, an English Language Arts teacher at South Bronx Preparatory; and we listen to Margaret Overbagh, who is one of our own Senior Consultants working directly with teachers in high-need schools.

Case Studies: