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October 04, 2012

Chicago Contract Busts Budget; Layoffs Loom for Lowest Performers

Chicago teachers voted overwhelmingly today to ratify their new contract, sealing the deal that ended September's 7-day strike. The Chicago Teachers Union prevailed in obtaining a 2-3% annual raise for the next three to four years (totaling as much as 17.6% cumulatively), and in keeping the teacher ...

August 28, 2012

Is a Master's Degree Worth $30,000?

Should a Master's degree be part of the teacher certification process, and what role should it play in compensation, if any? Research has shown that holding a Master's degree does not predict higher teaching quality, and critics have pointed out that states "spend" some $14.8 billion on the pay bum...

August 05, 2012

The Many Misconceptions About Algebra

I've been thinking a lot lately about why the national reaction was so strong to Andrew Hacker's op-ed in last Sunday's NY Times, "Is Algebra Necessary?" After engaging with various blog posts and comments on the subject, I've identified a couple of reasons. First is "tl;dr" syndrome—"too lo...

July 31, 2012

How Much Math Is Too Much?

Andrew Hacker has a bombshell opinion piece in last Sunday's NY Times, arguing that teaching algebra to all students is a wasted effort. Students are routinely told that math is a gateway subject—you have to take advanced math to get into a good college—and Hacker suggests that this is...

July 25, 2012

How Will $1 Billion Change the STEM Teaching Workforce?

The Associated Press is reporting that President Obama's budget proposal includes $1 billion over the next several years for a STEM "Master Teacher Corps." US News & World Report offers some additional details about the plan's rationale:The teachers will be chosen by local school officials, and Dunc...

July 13, 2012

The Future of the NEA in the Age of Performance

Stephen Sawchuck has a major article out today on the NEA's struggle to adapt to a changing world. He notes that the organization's membership has dropped by about 100,000 in the past two years, and is projected to drop another 200,000 by 2014. For an organization of over 3 million, this is a small ...

July 04, 2012

Teaching Compliance

In my previous post, I introduced Seth Godin's recent manifesto Stop Stealing Dreams (What Is School For?). In answering his own question, Godin suggests that school is "for" some purposes that are no longer relevant, and weren't so great to begin with. Godin argues that we have public schools both...

April 03, 2012

Un-Flattening the Teaching Profession

One of the chief challenges to the teaching profession's status as a profession is its flatness. A first-year teacher has the same duties and working conditions as a 30-year veteran, and while the latter may be higher on the pay scale, not much else changes as a teacher (or a principal, for that mat...

February 03, 2012

Teachers, Blueberries, and Developing Your People

Guest Post By Sean Glaze of Great Results Teambuilding Bill Parcells, the Super-Bowl winning coach of the New York Giants, enjoyed much success during his seven years as head coach back in the 1980's. When he later took over as head coach of the New England patriots, though, he improved the orga...

November 20, 2011

Recommendations for Developing Teacher Evaluation Systems

Guest post from Rod McCloy & Andrea Sinclair In this blog entry, we provide some of our recommendations for developing teacher evaluation systems. These recommendations rest on the performance theory (Campbell, McCloy, Oppler, & Sager, 1993) presented in our previous two posts ("Performance or Effe...

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