Education Reform Conference in Memphis

(Memphis) More than 100 teachers and principals from around the country are in Memphis this weekend for the America Achieves Education Reform Conference.

Organizers have gathered some of the best teachers across the country to participate in the conversations on policy reform.

There are eight Memphis City School teachers, one principal and two administrators that are fellows participating in the conference.

Organizers said Memphis is a great demonstration of education reform.

“You’ve built this Achievement School District that many people have replicated across the country. How do we turn around our lowest performing schools? There is the merger that everyone is talking about and a way to think about equity across the board,” explained Peter Kannam.

Memphis City School teacher Brittany Clark is one of the fellows participating who thinks there are great things like the Teacher Effectiveness Measurement happening in Memphis.

“The feedback to teachers, the new motto of observation, student achievement and student surveys I think that’s probably the biggest thing.  They are on their toes every day and students recognize it. Students know the goal is achievement every single day, they know what they are supposed to be doing. You can’t just go in and give them worksheets; you’ve got to be on top of your game,” said Clark.

Clark hopes she can pick up ways to bring the best of the best to Shelby County.

“Considering that our goal in Memphis is for students to achieve and for there to be a great teacher in every classroom. So if we are going to say that’s important, we need to pay teachers that are great,” added Clark.

America Achieves is also expanding their website this weekend to include videos of teachers and their techniques in the classroom. Several of the videos will feature Memphis teachers.

“New standards get passed, new curriculums get written but it’s really hard to learn that way. We need to show excellent practice from our nation’s best teachers and principals,” said Kannam.

The conference will last through Sunday. For more information on America Achieves, go to www.americaachieves.org

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