11/07/2013 10:05 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How Would Teachers Solve the Challenges Facing Education?

This week, we're celebrating the release of the first book authored by Teach Plus teacher leaders!

Published by Harvard Education Press, Learning from the Experts: Teacher Leaders on Solving America's Education Challenges is a celebration of teachers as change makers. In it, readers will hear from 17 teacher leaders whose ideas and tenacity are transforming urban classrooms and schools nationwide.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing excerpts from Learning from the Experts, as well as new essays written by other excellent teachers who are offering even more ideas for change (consider it bonus material). To kick off, here's an excerpt from the Introduction, from Teach Plus CEO Celine Coggins.

Who Are the Real Experts?
Why We Should Ask Teachers How to Fix Our Schools

The teaching profession is at a crossroads. Over the past five years, both the composition of the teaching force and the expectations surrounding teachers' daily work have undergone significant changes. These shifts have been destabilizing for teaching as a whole and they provoke an important question: what is the role of teachers as leaders in solving the challenges of American education?

It is critical that we ask this question now. First, we are in the throes of a profound demographic transition. For more than forty years, baby boomers have made up the majority of the teaching force. National data from the Schools and Staffing Survey reveal that the new millennium has ushered in a new majority. As of 2008, teachers with ten or fewer years' experience constitute over 52 percent of our teaching force. As this new generation becomes the new majority of the teaching force, they bring new conceptions of what it means to be a professional and what they hope for teaching as a profession. This book taps into this new majority of teachers--for their ideas, their insights, their solutions to the knotty problems of education today, and their proposals for policies and implementation strategies that will keep the most effective among them in the classrooms that need them the most.

From Learning from the Experts Teacher Leaders on Solving America's Education Challenges, edited by Celine Coggins, Heather G. Peske, and Kate McGovern, published by Harvard Education Press, 2013. Learn more.