When Jacksonville imagined a Teaching Academy to improve teacher quality at the turn of the 21st century, our community expressed considerable foresight. Today 95 percent of American parents agree that the quality of teachers is the most important factor in improving our public schools (2015 Gallup/PDK poll).
The Gallup/PDK (Phi Delta Kappa) has been measuring public opinion on public schools for 47 years. Consistent over the past decade, Americans have expressed concern that we are underfunding our schools, underpaying our teachers and this year the poll confirmed that Americans are fed up with high stakes testing. In fact, parents rank testing dead last in the factors that will improve schools.
The Jacksonville community leadership that invested in improving teacher quality through a dedicated Center for professional learning had the foresight to create the Schultz Center for Teaching and Leadership. As our founder, Fred Schultz, said the Center would be the physical representation of our respect for the teaching profession.
Since 2002 Schultz has been entrepreneurial in creating professional learning experiences for educators in face to face, online and hybrid delivery systems in specific content areas and leadership. Improving teacher quality through employing expert practicing educators as trainers, Schultz is building capacity in the profession that makes all others possible – teaching.
We couldn’t agree more with American parents that great teaching is the foundation of great schools.