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WDEL's Delaware EducationWatch
with Amy Cherry

Red Clay teacher extends National Hope Street Fellowship

Laura Thompson, a Hope Street Group Fellow
Red Clay special education diagnostician Laura Thompson begins her second year as a Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellow.

She's one of six educators who advocate for positive education policy changes, focusing specifically on teacher evaluation and Race to the Top implementation.

Laura Thompson: "It's not supposed to feel like a gotcha! Suddenly, you're such an ineffective teacher, we're getting rid of you. It's not a pruning process. It's supposed to be a way that we can help people, who need to be more effective in the classroom."

As a teacher in the untested subject area of special education, Thompson wanted to make sure voices like hers were heard. Case in point- -take one of her students...

Thompson: "He was reading at a kindergarten reading level in third grade. At the end of fifth grade, I had raised him to the end of fourth grade level, so there was a lot of growth. But he wasn't reading on a fifth grade level so the question is, am I an ineffective teacher?"

Of course she isn't, and Thompson wants other teachers to know that's not what teacher evaluations are all about.

Thompson is excited to take her fellowship into its second year so she can continue to help shape education policy nationwide.

Thompson: "Being part of this national voice is very exciting and exhilarating for me, and empowering. It helps me feel like I can really make a difference or I can really be heard, and have a part in the entire conversation."

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