United Way of Broward County

Empowering Effective Teachers Task Force Hosts Education Town Hall

Natalie Horowitz
October 20, 2011


More than 160 gathered at United Way of Broward County’s Empowering Effective Teachers Task Force Education Town Hall at Nova Southeastern University’s Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center last week. Local educators, parents, community leaders and elected officials participated in a community conversation to discuss ways to support public education in Broward County.

The Town Hall served as a forum to formally present the findings and recommendations of the Empowering Effective Teachers Task Force. Along with the recommendations, the town hall ignited a call to action to support and empower effective teaching. Representative Evan Jenne, served as the evening’s moderator and led a panel discussion with Task Force members.

The Task Force is a diverse coalition of educators, parents, elected officials, community leaders, and business leaders. Realizing that issues surrounding student achievement are complex, with many contributing factors, the Task Force focused specifically on teachers, because effective teaching is the one element significantly impacting student achievement that schools can control.

The coalition spent 10 months examining national studies, and best practices from other districts, states and countries. The Task Force focused its attention on three areas:  How we can prepare great teachers, how we can fairly and accurately measure teacher effectiveness, and how we can retain our best teachers.

“So much of our future depends on the education of our youth,” said Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, Ph.D. “That is why it is so important that all parents, teachers, community and business leaders and all concerned citizens of Broward County to learn how to support policies and reforms that empower and support our teachers. We must understand and take action as individuals and a community to improve our schools.”

Some of the Task Force’s recommendations and calls to action include:
• For parents to be certain their child comes to school each day prepared to learn; well rested, well fed, homework completed, and provided the supplies needed to succeed.
• For parents to reach out to their child’s teacher, and ensure direct communication as you would any other professional.
• For community members to get involved with a school or district advisory council or adopt a classroom.
• For the community to consider support beyond financial, i.e. become a mentor, reading coach or tutor for a child.
• For teachers to build strong partnerships with their students’ parents.
• For teachers to participate in their school’s PTA, and collaborate with parents to support education funding and reforms.

To take action, please visit www.unitedwaybroward.org. For more information about the Empowering Effective Teachers Task Force and a complete report of its findings and recommendations, please visit www.unitedwaybroward.org or contact Dave Wallace at dwallace@unitedwaybroward.org or (954) 462-4850 ext. 130.

About Empowering Effective Teachers
The Empowering Effective Teachers Initiative is a two-year United Way project that brings together educators with community, government and business leaders to develop ideas and strategies that support teacher development. Funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through United Way Worldwide, the premise of the Initiative is the single most significant factor impacting student achievement that schools can control is an effective teacher. Because every child deserves an effective teacher in every subject, every year, United Way is focused on mobilizing the community to empower our teachers with the tools and resources they need to be successful. The Empowering Effective Teachers Task Force Coalition Participants include members of Broward County Public Schools, Broward County Council of PTAs, Charter Schools USA, United Way of Broward County and Community Stakeholders.

About United Way of Broward County
United Way of Broward County is a volunteer driven, community-based, non-profit organization servicing Broward County for more than 70 years. United Way of Broward County mission is to focus and unite the entire community to create significant lasting change in the impact areas of education, income and health, the building blocks for a better life, which positively impacts people’s lives. United Way of Broward County is the catalyst for change and convener of partnerships that unite the hearts, minds, and resources within the Broward community. For more information, visit www.unitedwaybroward.org.

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