Sunday, May 9, 2021

Quality thru teacher training & curriculum needs feds


If Congress and President Donald Trump cut Title II (professional development for teachers) and Title IV (money to develop curricular materials in the arts, STEM, and other areas of education), any recommendations that encourage schools to “integrate professional learning with high-quality curriculum materials to create strong systems of support for all educators” will drop like flies.

What happens without federal support for teacher professional development and the selection or purchasing of high-quality curricula is that schools in more affluent neighborhoods are able to spend the money on their own to provide these needed tools and schools that don’t bring in as much revenue from the local tax base aren’t. As a result, the achievement gap between rich schools and poor schools gets wider.

Also as a result, students at poor schools drop out, because the schools are unable to give their teachers the opportunity to learn from professional training or provide engaging courses with high-quality curricular materials.

With the federal budget for the current fiscal year still in play, this may be a time to tell Congress about needs in little-understood program that seem to have completely fallen off the table in budget negotiations. Other services for families that would limit the ability of students in those families to achieve significant progress in their schoolwork may also be part of any budget Congress eventually approves and the president signs.

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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