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Detroit Contract, TIF Evaluation Making News

Like half of Washington, D.C., I'm stuck at the airport waiting for a flight. Being the teacher-policy nerd that I am, here are a few items that have caught my attention as I've been scanning the news this morning.

• The Detroit teacher contract was ratified by a 63 percent yea vote. Now everyone there can start dealing with all the other issues, like horrible scores on the NAEP and a new rubber room and the structure of performance-pay, peer-assistance, and peer-review programs.

Mathematica Policy Research has won a contract to evaluate the Teacher Incentive Program sites. (TIF, you'll remember, is a federal program that seeds performance-pay programs that got a boost in the stimulus bill and this year's federal appropriations.) Should be interesting, if difficult work. Only a handful of sites are using experimental or quasi-experimental methodologies, so it may be difficult to draw wide-ranging conclusions from the programs.

• Sixty-three of Florida's 67 districts have agreed to participate in Race to the Top, the state education department reports. I wonder how many of them got local teachers' union signatures.

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