The Next Race to the Top? Arne Duncan Outlines Vision for Teacher Reform

Courtney Williams's picture
Friday, February 17, 2012

The Obama administration is focused on teaching again – but this time it’s hoping to reform the entire profession itself.

On Wednesday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan spoke to teachers at a town-hall meeting to launch a $5 billion proposal that would try to improve the teaching profession at every level, from the recruitment and training process to the career ladder and pay and tenure systems.

“Our goal is to support teachers in rebuilding their profession – and to elevate the teacher voice in shaping federal, state, and local education policy,” Secretary Duncan told the teachers, according to prepared remarks. “Our larger goal is to make teaching not only America’s most important profession – [but also] America’s most respected profession.”

The program, dubbed the RESPECT Project (Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching), would be structured like another version of Race to the Top: a competitive grant program that would ask states to submit proposals.

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