President Obama Calls for HR Reform in Schools

In a speech on March 10 to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, President Obama outlined a bold vision for an education system that meets the challenges of the 21st century. He said that education to high standards is a necessity for the 21st century, and that his plan focuses on dramatically improving student performance and closing the achievement gap. To accomplish these goals, particularly in urban districts, President Obama proclaimed a need for greater national investment to recruit the best and brightest to the field of teaching; provide powerful professional development to help teachers become effective in the classroom; and expand mentoring for new and less effective teachers. The president also proposed to pay teachers for performance, for taking on more responsibilities in their schools, and as incentives for boosting student achievement. 

This new vision is closely aligned with the framework developed and disseminated for SMHC early in 2008, in which we emphasized the importance of recruiting top teacher and principal talent, equipping practitioners with the most effective instructional practices, and rewarding them for performance and results over time. As the president said, “Too many supporters of my party have resisted the idea of rewarding excellence in teaching with extra pay, even though we know it can make a difference in the classroom.” The papers and case studies already produced by SMHC reinforce all these historically significant statements by the president. SMHC is currently working to create two linked reform networks, one of urban public school districts and the other of states. Both these linked networks of collaborating districts and states will use SMHC materials to help frame their proposals for the new federal discretionary grant program, Race to the Top; to design and implement talent and human capital management policies; and to develop programs that realize the president’s overall vision.

2 Responses to “President Obama Calls for HR Reform in Schools”

  1. In Chicago, we need administrators, starting at the top who really understand school reform and developing teacher leadership capacity at each school. The district is dysfunctional because the administrators make decisions without any real engagement with the professionals in the classroom. The administrators cannot lead since they have not walked the walk in regards to true school reform. How about teaching Huberman how to get top administrators who get it! Teach Huberman that his job is to relocate money to support our neediest schools with more time, staff and regular planning time for effective collaboration and evaluation of classroom and school wide practices. School them please!

  2. I am eager to be involved. Currently, I am a middle school principal in Garland, Texas 6 miles east of Dallas. I am one class from my doctorate and desire to be a superintendent in a large urban school district. I will research more about Chicago.