Note: Roxanna Elden is the author of See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers. She is a National Board Certified high school teacher currently teaching in Miami. Many thanks to Rick for inviting me to guest blog this week. When I blogged last year, I tried to offer a teacher's point of view to reformers, researchers, and policymakers. This year, I'd like to share our feelings with another sector of the edu-world that has been on our minds lately: Dear educational technology, These days, we run into you everywhere. People who say you're just what we need have ...


Note: Celine Coggins, founder and CEO of Teach Plus, is guest blogging this week. At Teach Plus, we run a selective eighteen-month training for experienced urban teachers called the Teaching Policy Fellows program. It is designed to break down barriers between teachers and the policy leaders who make decisions about their classrooms. The program is one part graduate-level course in the teacher quality research, one part speaker series where teachers meet with top education leaders in a small group, and one part action center with teachers advocating for ideas they believe will help their students. In short, our role in ...


Note: Celine Coggins, founder and CEO of Teach Plus, is guest blogging this week. There's a fascinating and very worthwhile teacher quality debate that's happening in the blogosphere right now (see Rotherham versus Weingarten and Hanushek versus Ravitch). Hanushek suggests, based on economic analyses of student test score data, that up to 400,000 teachers (up to 10% of a 4-million-person workforce) should be fired. That number is scary and high for anyone who has many individual teachers in their lives whom they care about. Because Hanushek's figure is based only on test score data, it is open to some ...


Note: Celine Coggins, founder and CEO of Teach Plus, is guest blogging this week. I've had the privilege of meeting with union leaders from around the country to explain what Teach Plus is. Many love it; plenty are skeptics. In every case, I begin with three opening points. First, I describe our mission as very similar to the union's: to retain excellent teachers in the classroom and strengthen the teaching profession. Second, I talk about our belief that leadership opportunities are a key lever to helping promising young teachers extend their commitment to the classroom. Third, I state my personal ...


Note: Celine Coggins, founder and CEO of Teach Plus, is guest blogging this week. Thanks to Rick and his crew for tapping me as a guest-blogger. I promise to live up to the provocative blogging Rick's known for later in the week. I want to start, though, by discussing one of the programs we run at Teach Plus as an example of what we're all about. The results are in from the first year of our T3: Turnaround Teacher Teams initiative in the Boston Public Schools. I'm breaking the news here first! At Teach Plus, we work to ensure that ...


Note: Melissa Junge and Sheara Krvaric, lawyers at the Federal Education Group, will be guest posting this week. In this final post, we propose strategies for tackling the compliance rules that interfere with good educational programming. As we explored this week, these rules shape the culture of education organizations because they create compliance fears that discourage effective spending. This makes little sense, especially in an era where every dollar matters. The theme that connects the strategies below is engaging implementers. Policymakers sometimes assume a rule is working when they don't hear examples about the damage it is doing in practice. ...


Note: Melissa Junge and Sheara Krvaric, lawyers at the Federal Education Group, will be guest posting this week. Education policies cannot be successful if school districts are required to implement those policies in ineffective ways. While education policymakers passionately discuss the merits or flaws of big picture policy ideas, once policies actually make it into law few look back to see how the policies work in day-to-day practice. This is unfortunate, because overly burdensome or complicated administrative requirements can trip up policy goals. To illustrate this point, consider the "equitable services" requirement. This requirement, which has existed since federal education ...


Note: Melissa Junge and Sheara Krvaric, lawyers at the Federal Education Group, will be guest posting this week. Yesterday we talked about how the supplement not supplant rule can work against federal policy goals by impeding comprehensive school reform efforts and encouraging poor educational spending decisions. Today we will look at how another rule - known as "time and effort" - also inhibits comprehensive educational approaches. Time and effort, a rule that requires employees paid with federal funds to document the time they spend on specific activities, is not unique to Department of Education (ED) programs. In fact, these rules ...


Note: Melissa Junge and Sheara Krvaric, lawyers at the Federal Education Group, will be guest posting this week. In our last post, we introduced the idea that federal compliance rules can have an unintended effect on what goes on in the classroom by encouraging defensive spending, discouraging comprehensive programs, and creating administrative burdens that take away resources from students. Over the next two days we will give examples of how two seemingly unrelated rules - supplement not supplant, and time and effort - interfere with comprehensive school improvement. Policymakers have encouraged states and school districts to use federal funds to ...


Note: Melissa Junge and Sheara Krvaric, lawyers at the Federal Education Group, will be guest posting this week. As education lawyers who work with states and school districts on federal education programs, part of our job is to advise clients on those programs' fiscal and administrative compliance rules. For the most part these compliance rules are largely unknown and rarely discussed among the education policy crowd and other important stakeholders, like parents and teachers. Federal compliance requirements like supplement not supplant or time distribution (also known as time and effort) are not exactly hot topics of conversation. They should be. ...


The opinions expressed in Rick Hess Straight Up are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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