United Way of Broward County

Empowering Effective Teachers Task Force Announces Recommendations to Improve Broward Education System

Natalie Horowitz
January 18, 2012

United Way of Broward County’s Empowering Effective Teachers Task Force has released its report to the community, Building Strong Communities:  Empowering Effective Teaching So Children Excel.  The report includes findings and recommendations to improve the quality of education in Broward County by better preparing great teachers, accurately measuring teacher effectiveness and retaining the best teachers. Upon the completion of the Task Force’s findings, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation generously granted United Way of Broward County additional funds to continue its efforts supporting public education in Broward County.

Broward County’s newly selected Superintendent of Schools, Robert W. Runcie, was so impressed with the work of the Task Force that he scheduled a half-day meeting in January with the group and his senior staff. During the meeting, they will determine actions steps to implement some of the recommendations.

The Empowering Effective Teachers 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 to prepare great teachers, how to fairly and accurately measure teacher effectiveness, and how to retain our best teachers.

These findings were first presented at United Way of Broward County’s Empowering Effective Teachers Task Force Education Town Hall in October. Representative Evan Jenne served as the evening’s moderator and led a panel discussion with Task Force members.

At the Town Hall event, the Task Force called on the community to take action to support Broward teachers and efforts to support effective teaching. The Task Force presented these ideas for action:
• Parents 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
• Parents reach out to their child’s teacher, and ensure direct communication as you would any other professional
• Community members get involved with a school or district advisory council or adopt a classroom
• The community consider support beyond financial, i.e. become a mentor, reading coach or tutor for a child
• Teachers to build strong partnerships with their students’ parents
• Teachers to participate in their school’s PTA, and collaborate with parents to support education funding and reforms

To view the full report, 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.

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