Dr. David Driscoll speaks out in education reform videos

Education company Pearson has launched a series of video interviews with education leader David Driscoll, Ed.D.

In these five Web video segments, Driscoll addresses a wide range of school reform topics from his perspective as a leader in education for more than 43 years. He began his career as a secondary math teacher and then served in district leadership roles, as a state commissioner of education, president of Council of Chief State School Officers and is now the chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress: The Nation's Report Card. Driscoll discusses key areas of school reform, including state education initiatives; the role of teachers, principals and educator preparation in school improvement; and the best strategies for transforming education in the future.

In the video series, Driscoll cites having a quality teacher in every classroom as the "most important ingredient in school reform."

"The key to our success in Massachusetts was not just student testing, but also teacher licensure testing," he said. "The thing that made the biggest difference in Massachusetts was ratcheting up teacher standards."

Driscoll said that states and districts should aim to not just meet - but surpass - the federal standards for teacher quality. "We need a broad comprehensive approach to improving teacher quality in this country, starting with getting society to care more about the profession," he said.

When discussing the role of teacher licensure testing in education reform, Driscoll cites content knowledge as having the most critical impact. He said that while effective teaching practices are important, teachers must also have strong knowledge of the content they are teaching. Driscoll said with teacher licensure testing, "We need to be very clear about what we want teachers to know and be able to do, just as we are very clear about what we want students to know and be able to do. Then build the test around that."

In the video, "Education and the Future," Driscoll talks about the potential effect on teachers of the current movement toward common, national standards for student achievement. "As common standards are established across the country and we raise expectations for students, in most states, they are going to have to raise the expectations of teacher skills and knowledge."

He also addresses the value of authentic assessment and using tools, such as video, in teacher licensure testing. "The more authentic we can make evaluation, the better off we are," Driscoll said. "Videotaping is a very good way to evaluate performance and, most importantly, hone in on areas where people need improvement."

The five videos, "Education Reform and the States," "Education Reform and Teachers," "Education Reform and Teacher Licensure Testing," "Education Reform and School Leadership" and "Education Reform and the Future" can be viewed below or on YouTube.