With major changes to public education coming from top-down prescriptions in recent decades, schools have shifted from their original purpose – advancing the common good. More than 20 years ago, the National TURN began convening classroom teachers and teacher leaders for a series of open discussions around the country. We asked participants: How must we strengthen public education in ways that reflect the collective wisdom of teachers? How can public education, once again, become “the great equalizer” and the foundation for our democracy? How could it be made to benefit all our students, not just some? And how must we change, too, so that teachers and their unions become agents of needed improvements?
Our TURN: Revitalizing Public Education and Strengthening Democracy Through the Collective Wisdom of Teachers lays out a fresh, exciting, teacher-led vision on what it will take to improve our public education system and reestablish its rightful place as the cornerstone of our democracy. Drawing from research-based practices and the experiences and ideas of classroom teachers across the country about what works, we highlight creative and innovative solutions that place students at the center of learning, support teachers as professionals, promote equity, and advance negotiated agreements that improve student learning. The report provides a clear and compelling roadmap for education policymakers, practitioners and advocates alike towards a revitalized system of public education that benefits all our students.